Clocking up extra hours in office raises heart attack risk

London: Pause a while to read this news – travelling an extra mile in office could take a toll on your health, say researchers.

A new study by University College London has found that those who spend more than 11 hours at work, compared with seven or eight-hour a day, increase their chance of having a heart attack by two thirds.

For their study, the researchers tracked 7,095 civil servants, aged 39 to 62, over a period of 11 years and established how many hours they worked on average a day.

Over the period, a total of 192 had suffered a heart attack. But the study found that those who worked more than 11 hours a day were 67 per cent more likely to have one than those who had a "nine-to-five" job.

The study concluded that information on working hours could be useful to GPs (general practitioners) alongside other factors like blood pressure, diabetes and smoking when deciding on the mode of treatment.

Professor Mika Kivimäki, who led the study, was quoted by the British media as saying, "We have shown that working long days is associated with a remarkable increase in risk of heart disease.

"Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP (general practitioner) interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.

"This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease. It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors."

The findings have been published in the `Annals of Internal Medicine` journal.