Do doctors have a higher risk of stroke?

People who work longer than ten hours a day have a significantly increased risk of stroke, according to a recent study from France. In addition to office workers, physicians are also a risk group due to overtime and extra workload.

Sustained work overtime increases the risk

According to a recent French study, people who work very long hours a day and have been doing so for 10 years or more have a 45% higher risk of stroke.

The data were based on 143,592 people from a French population-based cohort, the so-called CONSTANCES study. Long working days are defined by researchers as shifts of ten or more hours a day for at least 50 days a year. Cardiovascular risk factors and previous strokes were recorded by the physicians during anamnestic interviews with the patients.

The effects appear to be gender independent

A total of 1,224 participants suffered a stroke during the study period. The study impressively showed that people who work very long hours a day had a 29% higher risk of stroke. However, if this situation persisted for 10 years, the risk of strokes rose to 45%. Interestingly, this effect did not differ between the sexes. According to the study, office and administration employees under the age of 50 appear to be most affected.

Physicians often work far too long

Many health care providers have working days that are significantly longer than usual when compared to other professions and are therefore also exposed to an increased risk of stroke. The study directors, therefore, advise colleagues/patients to make their own work more efficient and not to neglect relaxation and free time after work is done.

Fadel M et al, Association Between Reported Long Working Hours and History of Stroke in the CONSTANCES Cohort. Stroke 2019; doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025454