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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 10, October 2012, Posted On: 9/27/2012

Study: Too Much Work Is Bad For The Heart

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: stress at work, American Journal of Epidemiology, long work hours, unhealthy diet, heart disease, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, cortisol

Better take a chill pill. A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that a combination of stress, long work hours and unhealthy diet may cause serious health problems. The study, which would seem a re-statement of the obvious, combined the results of a dozen previous studies over the past half century and a total of more than 22,000 participants from the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Among the leading indicators in the study were those who spend too long at the office ran a 40% to 80% higher risk of heart disease compared to those who work the standard eight hours. Conducted by scientists at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the new study's results could support conclusions from a 2011 British survey that suggests doing more than 11 hours of work a day raises heart disease risks by 67%.

The top factors tied to health issues were increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, poor eating habits and lack of physical activity due to limited leisure time.

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