If you consistently work overtime, you're probably aware
of the strain it can put on your health and family or social
life. During Japan's economic boom in the 1980s, an increase
in deaths related to long hours and less sleep was reported.
Now a study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
may provide proof that overtime work and long hours lead
to heart attacks.
determine the relationship between hours worked, hours slept,
and heart-attack risk in Japanese men, 40- to 79-year-olds
who had suffered a heart attack were compared to men of the
same age who had not. From 1996-1998, the men were interviewed
to gather data on work and lifestyle factors.
Longer hours at work, less sleep at night, and fewer days
off were all linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, with
combinations of these factors and recent occurrences further
increasing risk. Men who slept five hours or less per night
at least two days each week had two-to-three times the risk
for a heart attack compared to men sleeping more; men who
worked over 60 hours per week doubled their risk for a heart
attack, compared to those working 40 hours or less weekly.
If you regularly work long hours and lose sleep as a result,
ask yourself: Is my career really worth it? Not only will
overworking cause you to neglect your family or those close
to you, it might shorten your life.
Liu Y, Tanaka H. Overtime work, insufficient sleep, and risk
of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction in Japanese men.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2002:59, pp.
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