An addiction to work is bad for the heart. A new study says that long working hours can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease is a condition caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits in the artery walls that thickens the walls, narrows and damages its elasticity and affects blood and oxygen supply to the heart.
The study looked at the total work time and heart health in 8,350 Korean adults. During the study, researchers interviewed the participants and also subjected them to physical examinations and biochemical measurements. Framingham risk score (FRS) was used to analyse the link between the two, PTI reported.
Researchers found that working hours influenced certain factors that pose risk to the heart including cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.
People in the study, who worked more than 40 hours a week, had higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) than the others.
The heart risk went up with an increase in the working hours. Working 61 to 70 hours increased risk of heart disease by 42 percent and 71 to 80 hours was associated with 63 percent increased risk. People who worked more than 80 hours a week had 94 percent increased risk of developing heart disease within a decade than those who spent less hours at the work.
"The longer hours employees worked, the higher their chances of developing coronary heart disease within 10 years," senior author of the study Dr. Yun-Chul Hong, from the Seoul National University in South Korea said in a news release.
However, the study also found that very short working hours also posed similar health risks. Working less than 30 hours was associated with higher cholesterol levels than working at least 31 to 40 hours a week.
"Regarding this finding, we considered the possibility that selection processes may differentiate those who worked very long hours and reduced hours from the standard full-time workers," Dr Hong told IANS, according to Mid-Day.
Similar to the current study, previous studies have linked long work hours - more than 40 hours a week - to stress, dissatisfaction and compromised health.
The study, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, comes at a time when nearly 17 million people in the world die of heart attack and strokes.