Clocking in overtime may adversely affect a healthy heart, says a new study.
The results, from the long-running study following more than 10,000 civil servants in London (UK): the Whitehall II study, are published in the European Heart Journal .
The study found that, compared with people who did not work overtime, people who worked three or more hours longer than a normal, seven-hour day had a 60 percent higher risk of heart-related problems such as death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks and angina.
Dr Marianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki (Finland) and University College London (UK), said: "The association between long hours and coronary heart disease was independent of a range of risk factors that we measured at the start of the study, such as smoking, being overweight, or having high cholesterol.
"Our findings suggest a link between working long hours and increased CHD [coronary heart disease] risk, but more research is needed before we can be confident that overtime work would cause CHD. In addition, we need more research on other health outcomes, such as depression and type 2 diabetes."