Overtime work hikes risk of stroke – London study

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Employees who often render overtime work are more likely to suffer from stroke, a London study found.

Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University College London conducted a statistical analysis of published and unpublished data covering 603,838 employees from Europe, the United States and Australia.

Result of the study showed that employees who work 55 hours or more per week have higher risk of suffering from stroke than those who work 35 to 40 hours a week.

The researchers attributed the risk to the employees’ physical inactivity and repetitive triggering of stress, as well as alcohol consumption because of stress.


“Evidence [also]suggests that individuals who work long hours are more likely to ignore symptoms of disease and have longer pre-hospital delays,” the study noted.

The London study titled “Long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke” was published in The Lancet journal.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) noted that a number of Filipino workers also face stroke risk.

According to the latest labor statistics from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as of July 2015, over 26.2 million or 67 percent of 39.1 million employees work for 40 hours or more per week.

A stroke is caused by the interruption of blood supply to the brain, usually because of blood clotting or blood vessel bursts, which cut off the supply of oxygen and nutrients and damages brain tissue.

Symptoms of stroke include sudden weakness or numbness of the face and limbs, difficulty speaking or understanding speech and loss of balance and coordination.

In the Philippines, stroke ranks as the second leading cause of death, killing around 63,000 people in 2012, according to the World Health Organization.

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