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Long work hours may raise risk of heart disease

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SEOUL: Are you a workaholic? Your habits may raise your risk of heart disease, a new study has warned.

Working for more than 40 hours a week may increase one’s risk of developing coronary heart disease, or narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, it says.

“The longer hours employees worked, the higher their chances of developing coronary heart disease within 10 years, with those working 61 to 70 hours having a 42% increased likelihood of developing the disease, those working 71 to 80 hours having a 63% increased likelihood, and those working more than 80 hours having a 94% increased likelihood,” said Dr Yun-Chul Hong, senior author of the study, from the Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University.

Researchers evaluated the association between long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) estimated by Framingham risk score (FRS) on 8,350 Korean adults.

The subjects were asked about working hours and health status. Participants also completed physical examinations and biochemical measurements necessary for estimation of FRS.

Multiple logistic regression was conducted to investigate the association between working hours and the 10-year risk for CHD estimated by FRS. Compared to those who work 31-40 hours, significantly higher 10-year risk was estimated among subjects working longer hours.

As working hours increased, the odds ratio (OR) for the upper 10% of estimated 10-year risk for CHD increased up to 1.94.

The study was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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