Women working long hours 'at greater risk of cancer and heart disease'

17 July 2016

A new study has indicated that women could be increasing their risk of cancer and heart disease by working excessively long hours.

Conducted by Ohio State University, the research analysed data from interviews with almost 7,500 people, looking at the relationship between serious disease and hours worked over a 32-year period.

Work weeks that averaged 60 hours or more over three decades were shown to triple the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and arthritis in women, with problems beginning when females work more than 40 hours over a seven-day period.

Men who worked long hours had a higher incidence of arthritis, but none of the other chronic diseases; indeed, males working between 41 to 50 hours weekly actually had a lower risk of heart disease, lung disease and depression than those who worked 40 hours or fewer.

Study leader Allard Dembe, professor of health services management and policy at Ohio State University, said: "People don't think that much about how their early work experiences affect them down the road. Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s are setting themselves up for problems later in life."

Previous studies have indicated that workers who put in long hours face more stress, have more problems pertaining to sleep and digestion, and are more fatigued.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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