Long Work Hours Increase Hypertension Risk

August 28, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. -- Too much work is mirrored in high sphygmometer readings, according to a survey of those who toil in California.

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 28 -- Too much work is mirrored in high sphygmometer readings, according to a survey of those who toil in California.

Long hours were a significant marker for hypertension even when risk factors such as smoking, race, gender, diabetes, education, and income were considered (P=0.002), reported Haiou Yang, Ph.D., of the University of California Irvine, and colleagues, in the October issue of Hypertension, Journal of the American Heart Association.

More time on the job and remained significant for hypertension when body mass index (BMI) was included in the model (P=0.03), they added.

The study, released online today, used data collected by the 2001 California Health Interview Survey, a random-digit dial telephone survey of more than 55,000 California households.

The sample in this analysis included responses from 24,203 workers ages 18 to 64 who said they worked at least 11 hours a week.

Other findings:

  • Compared with those who said they were professionals or who worked in sales, unskilled workers were most likely to develop hypertension (OR: 1.50; 95% CI 1.00 to 2.25; P=0.05), followed by clerical workers, (OR: 1.23; 95% CI 1.00-1.51, P=0.05).
  • Managers also had an increased risk (OR: 1.11; 95% CI 0.96-1.27) but this was not significant in a multivariate analysis.
  • Age, male gender, race, past smoking, and self-reported diabetes were all highly significant predictors of hypertension (P