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Working more than 55 hours weekly raises risk of developing serious heart problems by 40%

PHOTO:AFP

Working more than 55 hours a week significantly increases the risk of developing serious heart problems, researchers have found.

People who work such long hours are 40 per cent more likely to suffer an irregular heartbeat than those who work a normal working week of 35 to 40 hours, according to a study.

Long shifts were already known to increase the risk of stroke, but the link with heart rhythm problems – known by the medical term atrial fibrillation – was not previously known.

A study of more than 85,500 British and Scandinavian people found those who worked long hours were far more likely to develop atrial fibrillation over the next decade.

The findings, published in the European Heart Journal, revealed that for every 1,000 people in the study, an extra 5.2 cases of atrial fibrillation occurred among those working long hours.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, and can lead to stroke, heart failure and dementia.

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