Over 55 Per Week, Look Out
A new mega-analysis of 17 different studies involving nearly 530,000 men and women tracked for an average 7.2 years has concluded that people who work 55 hours per week or more are 33 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who work a more standard 35 to 40 hours per week. The risk of coronary heart disease also rises, by 13 percent. The analysis, conducted by epidemiologists at University College London and published recently in The Lancet, found the increased stroke risk even when controlling for smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and amount of physical activity. Regardless of sex, age or economic status, the risk of stroke rose along with the number of excess hours worked. Almost 40 percent of full-time US workers report putting in at least 50 hours a week.
Change Lifestyle, Live Longer
According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week, the number of U.S. deaths per 100,000 population due to cardiovascular diseases has fallen by 29 percent since 2001, but heart disease and stroke remain the most common causes of death, accounting for one-third of all deaths nationwide. The CDC report also estimates that as many as one-fourth of those cardiovascular-linked deaths, or roughly 200,000 per year, could be prevented simply through basic lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, getting more exercise, maintaining a moderate weight and a healthy diet, consuming less salt, and reducing high cholesterol and blood pressure counts. The rate of cardiovascular deaths in America remains greater for males, and highest in the South.
Death from Strokes Increased Too
Depression may increase the risk of stroke, as well as the risk of dying from a stroke, say Harvard researchers who analyzed 28 studies involving more than 300,000 people. According to the findings, depressed people were 45 percent more likely to have any type of stroke compared with those who weren't depressed. Published in Journal of the American Medical Association, the findings show that depressed people faced a 55 percent increased risk of dying when they have a stroke. WebMD reports that experts say the findings should serve as a call to action for the diagnosis and treatment of depression.
Frying May Zap Omega-3
People living in the stroke belt of America are 30 percent more likely to consume two or more servings of fried fish each week than people living in the rest of the U.S., say researchers from Emory University in Atlanta. The stroke belt, where residents are 20 percent more likely to die from stroke, is made up of people living in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Researchers say that people living in the stroke buckle (the coastal plains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) are 40 percent more likely to die of stroke than others. According to MSNBC, study researcher Fadi Nahab says that frying fish may reduce their amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Frying fish also increases the fat and calorie content.