Editorial: Long day means high blood pressure

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Do you work more than 51 hours each week? A study from the University of California found that you are 29 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than people who work 39 hours or less.

Until now, most research on high blood pressure and how it relates to work has been conducted on Asians, according to a Reuters news report. The Japanese are noted for high blood pressure and have a phenomenon called Karoshi, which means &8220;sudden death from overwork.&8221;

Researchers at the University of California wanted to look into hypertension among Americans, who these days work long hours like the Japanese are known for, the study stated.

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Among the 24,305 Californians the researchers studied, they found a direct correlation between blood pressure and work. The likelihood rose with the number of hours worked. And the trend persisted when adjusted for factors such as socioeconomic status and weight, Reuters reported.

Hypertension was 17 percent greater for people working 41 to 50 hours a week and 29 percent greater than people working 51 hours or more.

On top of it all, the United States is the only country in the developed world without laws limiting the number of work hours. You can read about the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Our reaction to the news: No matter how much or how little you work, make sure you set aside time each day for exercise. It will add years to your life and energy to your day. For it is known that exercise can reduce high blood pressure.

If can reduce your work hours to within reason, do so.

If you can&8217;t reduce the work hours, at least offset the stress that comes from it.