A recent study suggested that employees who work longer hours so called “workaholics” may have an increased incidence of stroke compared to those working “standard hours” according to Dr. Steven Reisman a cardiologist in New York City. The study “Long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished data for 603838 individuals” published in the medical journal The Lancet analyzed 25 different studies with over 600,000 individuals. This study suggested a 33 percent increase in stroke rate in those in the “workaholics” group.
This study suggested that overwork in some individuals may lead to a “stress response”. It also suggested physical inactivity can increase the risk of stroke. Furthermore, those who work long hours may ignore symptoms and delay getting to the doctor.
It appears that this study may have limitations in that it is not one study but a combination of multiple studies. In addition, according to Dr. Steven Reisman the director of The New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, other factors such as level of satisfaction with work and psychological factors including anger, hostility, and depression play a more important role in work stress and the risk of cardiovascular disease than simply the number of hours of work.