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Long Work Hours Can Lead To A Stroke

09/08/2015 01:52 EDT | Updated 09/08/2015 04:59 EDT

Working late won't always help you get ahead, but it will increase your chances of suffering from a stroke.

According to a recent study published in The Lancet journal, people who work more than 55 hours a week are 33 per cent more likely to have a stroke. Their risk of heart disease also increases by 13 per cent when compared to employees working a more reasonable 35 to 40 hour week.

Regardless of age, gender and social status, the study, conducted by University College London, found the more hours a person worked, the more their risk of stroke increased.

Work stress has long been associated with strokes. In 2011, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that 10 per cent of strokes are caused by work-related mental stress.

Other stroke factors include high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

In Japan, 400 workers die every year from a combination of strokes, heart attacks and suicides. It's a phenomenon called karoshi and it's attributed to being overworked, ABC News reports.

Contrary to what you believe, long hours aren't even helping you get ahead of your work. According to researchers at Stanford University, productivity drops by two-thirds as work hours increase. The researchers say the decrease in productivity can be attributed to stress and fatigue, which can also cause more mistakes and require do-overs.

In 2012, Employment and Social Development Canada reported that Canadians worked an average of 36.6 hours a week. According to the Ministry of Labour, Canadians may be required to work up to 48 hours per week. Any work time exceeding 48 hours per week requires a written agreement between the employee and employer, as well as overtime pay.

With your health at risk, it makes us wonder — is the added stress even worth the extra pay? Let us know in the comments below.

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