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World Health Organization says working long hours increased deaths by heart disease and stroke

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Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2021. 10:31 am CST.

By Zoila Palma: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization published an article in Environment International Today indicating that long working hours led to 745,000 deaths from stroke and heart disease in 2016.

That is a 29% increase since 2000. According to their estimates, almost 400,000 people died from stroke and 347,000 from heart disease as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.

Most of the deaths recorded were among people dying aged 60-79 years, who had worked for 55 hours or more per week between the ages of 45 and 74 years.

The study said that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.

In addition it noted that 9% of the global population continue to work long hours which puts them at risk for work-related disability and early death.

“Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard, it’s time that we all, governments, employers, and employees wake up to the fact that long working hours can lead to premature death,”  said Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Health, at the World Health Organization.

 

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