Studies have indicated that long working hours is associated with circulatory diseases. The aim of the present studies was to test if long working hours were prospectively associated with ischaemic heart disease (IHD), usage of antihypertensive drugs (AD) and stroke, in a large randomly selected sample from the general workforce of Denmark.Methods
Self-reported data on weekly working hours from the Danish Labour Force Survey (1999–2013) was linked to national registers. Participants were followed until becoming a case, emigration/dead due other causes or end of study period (2014).Methods
Poisson regression was used to analyse incidence rates as a function of weekly working hours. The analyses were controlled for calendar time, time since start of follow-up, age, sex, SES, night and health care work (the latter two for IHD only).Result
Around 1 45 000 persons were included with 3635 cases of IHD, 20 648 cases of AD and 1737 cases of stroke. With 32–40 hours/week serving as reference, the estimated rate ratios for IHD were 0.95 (95% CI: 0.85–1.06) for 41–48 and 1.07 (0.94–1.21) for >48 hours/week. The corresponding rate ratios for AD were 0.99 (0.95–1.04) and 1.02 (0.97–1.08).Result
In the study of stroke 35–40 working hours/week served as reference. The estimated rate ratios for overall stroke were 0.97 (95% CI: 0.83–1.13) for 41–48, 1.10 (0.86–1.39) for 49–54, and 0.89 (0.69–1.16) for ≥55 hours/week. The estimated rate ratios per one category increase in working hours were 0.99 (0.93–1.06) for overall stroke, 0.96 (0.88–1.05) for ischaemic stroke and 1.15 (1.02–1.31) for haemorrhagic stroke.Discussion
The analyses cannot confirm long working hours to be associated with IHD, AD or overall stroke. Data suggest however, that long working hours might be associated with increased rates of haemorrhagic stroke.