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Long work hours take toll on men’s heart

29 Jun 2020

Men who spend long hours working are prone to developing ischaemic heart disease (IHD), as suggested in a study.

The study involved 137,854 participants (50.6 percent male) from the French population‐based cohort CONSTANCES. Part‐time employees and those who reported a cardiac event in the 5 years before long-working hours (LWH) exposure were excluded. LWH was defined as rendering work for >10 hours daily for at least 50 days per year.

There were 1,875 cases (1.4 percent) of IHD including myocardial infarction and angina pectoris. A total of 42,462 individuals (30.8 percent) were exposed to LWH, among whom 14,474 (10.5 percent) reported exposure for at least 10 years.

Logistic regression analysis revealed that exposure to LWH for ≥10 years conferred a heightened risk of IHD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.24, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.43; p=0.0021). The association was stronger when excluding angina pectoris (aOR, 1.31, 95 percent CI, 1.11–1.56; p=0.0017).

In stratified analyses, the increased IHD risk associated with LWH was significant among men (aOR, 1.28, 95 percent CI, 1.11–1.48; p=0.0008) but was nonexistent among women (aOR, 0.90, 95 percent CI, 0.55–1.49; p=0.69).

Findings of the current large-scale study highlight a need for interventions and implementation research to minimize cumulative exposure to LWH, which should contribute to attenuate the global burden of work‐related IHD, according to the researchers. Further prospective studies with detailed occupational exposure information (including duration and intensity) and lifestyles will be useful.

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