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Working overtime ‘increases risk of high blood pressure by 70%’

Stress, not enough sleep and lack of exercise are to blame

People who regularly work more than 35 hours a week increase their risk of developing high blood pressure, a study has warned.

The analysis of 3,500 office workers found employees who worked at least 40 hours a week were 50% more likely to have hypertension than people who stuck to 35 hours or fewer. 

Those who spent more than 49 hours in the office had a 70% greater risk. 

Experts said stress, not enough sleep and lack of exercise was to blame because they all put extra pressure stress on the body, the Daily Mail reports.

The study also found nine-to-five workers had a 66% greater risk of having sustained hypertension, when blood pressure is high throughout the day. 

If left untreated, both forms of hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Working between 41 and 48 hours each week came with a 54% greater risk of masked hypertension and 42% for sustained hypertension.

Study lead author Dr Xavier Trudel, from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, said: “People should be aware that long work hours might affect their heart health, and if they’re working long hours, they should ask their doctors about checking their blood pressure over time with a wearable monitor.”

The research team noted the study did not include any blue collar workers so the findings may not apply to labourers or shift workers.

The findings were published in the journal Hypertension.