Working more than eight hours a day raises the risk of heart disease by up to 80%, a new study has revealed. Researchers said that long working hours could be condemning thousands of employees to heart attacks and strokes.
The warning follows analysis of 12 studies dating back as far as 1958, involving a total of 22,000 people from around the world.
The analysis, by scientists at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, found that those whose working days that were longer than the traditional eight hours had a 40-80% greater chance of heart disease.
The size of the increase varied depending on how each study was carried out.
The effects were more pronounced when participants were asked how long they worked for - but when researchers closely monitored working hours, the increased risk of heart disease was closer to 40%.
Lead researcher Dr Marianna Virtanen said the effects could be due to "prolonged exposure to stress."
Other triggers could be poor eating habits and lack of exercise.