LONDON, NETRALNEWS.COM - For those of you who are workaholics, you should start reducing your working hours if you want to keep your heart healthy. Scientists have found that people who work long hours have an increased risk of developing irregular heart rhythm.
Studies show that compared with people who work at normal hours of 35-40 hours a week, people who work 55 hours or more during the week, 40 percent more likely to experience atrial fibrillation for the next 10 years.
Atrial fibrillation is a condition when the heart's atrium (atrial) pulsates irregularly and rapidly. This condition increases the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.
"These findings suggest that long working hours are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia," said Professor Mika Kivimaki, from University College London, who led the study, as quoted from the New Indian Express.
According to Kivimaki, this explains the increased risk of stroke in those who work long hours. In addition to contributing to the development of stroke, as well as other health disadvantage seperto heart failure, dementia and stroke.
Researchers analyzed data from 85,494 men and women from England, Denmark, Sweden and Finland who took part in one of eight studies in these countries.
They assessed the hours of work of the participants as they followed the study between 1991 and 2004.
Working hours are classified less than 35 hours per week, 35-40 hours, which are considered standard working hours, 41 to 48 hours, 49 to 54 hours, and 55 hours or more per week. None of the participants had atrial fibrillation at the start of the study.
During the ten-year follow-up period, there were 1,061 new cases of atrial fibrillation.
This gave an incidence rate of 12.4 per 1000 people in the study, but among 4,484 people working 55 hours or more, the incidence was 17.6 per 1,000.
"Those who work long hours are 1.4 times more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, even after adjusting for factors that may affect risk, such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, obesity, leisure activities, smoking and drinking alcohol, "Kivimaki said.
Nine out of ten cases of atrial fibrillation occur in people who are free of previous or simultaneous cardiovascular disease.
This suggests that increased risk is likely to reflect the effects of long working hours rather than the effects of previous or simultaneous cardiovascular disease, but further research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved.