Longer work week, higher blood pressure

Research we're watching

Published: March, 2020

A long work week may raise your blood pressure, according to a study published online Dec. 19, 2019, by Hypertension. Researchers found that among more than 3,500 Canadian workers, those who worked 49 hours a week or more were more likely to have high blood pressure than workers who were on the job fewer than 35 hours a week. Blood pressure was measured at the start and end of the five-year study as well as once midway through. Readings were taken by both a trained technician and a wearable monitoring device. Even after adjusting for other factors, the 49-hour-plus workers were 70% more likely to have a type of high blood pressure called masked hypertension (normal blood pressure readings at doctor visits but high outside of that setting) and 66% more likely to have sustained hypertension (defined as consistently high blood pressure readings both in and outside of the doctor's office). People who worked 41 to 48 hours a week also had higher blood pressure than those who worked fewer than 35 hours a week.

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