Working long hours increases your risk of stroke, especially if you’re under 50

If you’re regularly working very long hours and have been for a long time, you might want to consider a lifestyle or career change (I know. So easy, right?).

According to a new study from the American Heart Association, working long hours increases risk of  stroke, especially if they worked those hours for 10 years or more.. And it’s even worse if you’re under 50 years old.

Risk of stroke increases with hours worked

According to a media release, researchers reviewed data from CONSTANCES, a French population-based study group started in 2012. The study looks at 143,592 participants, aged 18-69, and their sex and smoking habits and work hours. Cardiovascular risk factors and previous stroke occurrences were noted from separate medical interviews.

Researchers found that 29% or 42,542, reported working long hours, defined as “working more than 10 hours for at least 50 days per year.” Overall, 1,224 of the participants, suffered strokes. Participants who worked long hours had a 29% greater risk of stroke, and those who had worked long hours for 10 years or more had a 45% greater risk of stroke. And the association appeared to be stronger for people under age 50.

Study author Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at Paris Hospital, Versailles and Angers University and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), called this last part, “unexpected,” and said, “further research is needed to explore this finding.”

Previous studies noted a similar, smaller, effect of long work hours among CEOs, business owners, farmers and managers. Other studies have also suggested that irregular shifts, night work and job strain may have adverse health effects.

Time to move someplace else?

This is a bit of a scary finding for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet in a city like Toronto, where it often feels like a 75-hour workweek is the only way to keep your head above water. Add to this the decline in job security and the rise of the gig economy, contract work, and paycheque to paycheque living, and we all might start worrying we’re about to have a stroke.

Maybe it’s time for those in more expensive areas to move to one of the more affordable ones. Since many of us can work from anywhere with the increase of remote work, why not?

Moneysense recently ranked the best places to buy real estate in Canada right now. You could also jig the list rank by the cheapest places to buy a home. And five of the top 15 are in the eastern provinces.

Here are the top 15 cheapest places to buy a home in Canada:

Trois-Rivières (QC) $166,280
Moncton (NB) NB $177,600
Saguenay (QC) QC $178,290
Saint John (NB) $184,513
Thunder Bay (ON) $219,458
Charlottetown (PE) $220,454
Sherbrooke (QC) $226,354
Greater Sudbury (ON) $250,495
Regina (SK) $262,800
Québec (QC) $266,239
Gatineau (QC) $269,447
Saskatoon (SK) $282,600
St. John’s (NL) $285,287
Winnipeg (MB) $302,777
Halifax (NS) $302,879

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