Work and high blood pressure

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: November 30th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Workaholics beware. Burning the midnight oil may take a toll on your health.

A new study by researchers from the University of California at Irvine shows the more people work, the more they increase their risk of high blood pressure.

Even when researchers controlled for other factors that can affect blood pressure, the link between hours worked and high blood pressure remained.

In fact, people who fall into the “workaholic” category and clock in fifty-one or more hours a week are twenty-nine percent more likely to experience the heart disease risk factor.

The findings, published in the journal Hypertension, come from data collected in a 2001 telephone survey of more than twenty-four-thousand California workers.

Researchers found people who work a “normal” forty hours per week are fourteen percent more likely to report having high blood pressure than those who put in just eleven to thirty-nine hours on the job.

Researchers suggest that lack of down-time to recoup and de-stress is to blame. Additionally, longer hours at work may mean fewer hours spent on healthy pursuits, such as exercise, and more time spent drinking, smoking and eating fast food… things linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Researchers say more hours spent in the workplace also means more exposure to “noxious” factors of the job. These things … such as being underpaid for your work … take a toll, too.

Work got you down, or your blood pressure up? Discuss your hours with your doctor, and consider stress-management strategies.