Stroke is a problem for people with long work hours shift

The “Stroke” journal published a paper from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. It underlines the link between 10 years of long work hours and stroke.

Alexis Descatha M.D. Ph.D. Paris Hospital, Versailles and Angers University

If you are working in a 12-hour shift or more, you are in a high-risk category of people who can be prone to stroke. French research found that working long hours for 10 years or more may be associated with stroke. People under age 50 had a higher risk of stroke when working long hours for a decade or more.

The research was published in June in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke. Researchers reviewed data from “CONSTANCES”, a French population-based study group started in 2012, for information on age (18-69), sex, smoking and work hours derived from questionnaires from 143,592 participants. Cardiovascular risk factors and previous stroke occurrences were noted from separate medical interviews.

Researchers found:

  • overall 1,224 of the participants, suffered strokes;

  • 29% or 42,542, reported working long hours;

  • 10% or 14,481, reported working long hours for 10 years or more;

  • and participants working long hours had a 29% greater risk of stroke, and those working long hours for 10 years or more had a 45% greater risk of stroke.

Long work hours were defined as working more than 10 hours for at least 50 days per year. Part-time workers and those who suffered strokes before working long hours were excluded from the study.

“The association between 10 years of long work hours and stroke seemed stronger for people under the age of 50,” said study author Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at Paris Hospital, Versailles and Angers University and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). “This was unexpected. Further research is needed to explore this finding.

“I would also emphasize that many healthcare providers work much more than the definition of long working hours and may also be at higher risk of stroke,” Descatha said. “As a clinician, I will advise my patients to work more efficiently and plan to follow my own advice.”

Previous investigations noted a smaller effect of long work hours among business owners, CEOs, farmers, professionals and managers. Researchers said that it might be because those groups generally have more considerable decision latitude than other workers. Besides, other studies have suggested that irregular shifts, night work and job strain may be responsible for unhealthy work conditions.

Co-authors are Marc Fadel, M.D.; Grace Sembajwe, Sc.D.; Diana Gagliardi, M.D.; Fernando Pico, M.D., Ph.D.; Jian Li, M.D., Ph.D.; Anna Ozguler, M.D., Ph.D.; Johanes Siegrist, Ph.D.; Bradley Evanoff, M.D., M.P.H.; Michel Baer, M.D.; Akizumi Tsutsumi, M.D., D. Ms.; Sergio Iavicoli, M.D., Ph.D.; Annette Leclerc, Ph.D.; Yves Roquelaure, M.D., Ph.D.; and Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.