WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Out-of-shape men who work
long hours more than double their risk of dying from heart disease
compared to non-fit men working fewer hours, researchers
The study also found that when men are fit, working long hours
doesn't boost heart risk at all.
The new study included 5,000 Danish men, aged 40 to 59 years,
who worked at 14 different companies. Their fitness levels were
assessed at the start of the study and they were followed-up for
more than 30 years. During that time, 587 (about 12 percent) of the
men died as result of narrowed and hardened arteries (also known as
ischemic heart disease).
The study, released online Sept. 6 in advance of publication in
an upcoming print issue of the journal
Heart, also found the following:
- Compared with men who worked less than 40 hours per week, unfit
men who worked 41 to 45 hours a week were 59 percent more likely to
die of heart disease, although they were not more likely to die of
- Compared with unfit men, those who were physically fit and
worked longer hours were 45 percent less likely to die of heart
disease and 38 percent less likely to die of other causes.
- Being both unfit and working more than 45 hours per week more
than doubled a man's risk of dying of heart disease compared with
those who worked less than 40 hours per week.
"The finding that working more than 45 hours a week is associated with more than a doubled risk of [death from heart disease] among men with low physical fitness, and not among men with moderate or high physical fitness, is a new observation," Andreas Holtermann, of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, and colleagues said in a news release from the journal's publisher.
"If the relationship is causal, it obviously has major implications for the prevention of heart disease," they added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
men and heart disease.