Study Finds Longer Work Hours for Women Increases the Risk of Life-Threatening Diseases

ohio-stateA study by researchers at Ohio State University finds that women who work long hours have a significantly higher risk of heart disease, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions. The study found that the risks climb for women who work more than 40 hours a week. But women who work more than 50 hours a week tend to have a significant escalated risk of life-threatening illnesses.

“Women – especially women who have to juggle multiple roles – feel the effects of intensive work experiences and that can set the table for a variety of illnesses and disability,” said Allard Dembe, professor of health services management and policy and lead author of the study. “People don’t think that much about how their early work experiences affect them down the road. Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s are setting themselves up for problems later in life.”

The study did not find a similar adverse effect on health for men who worked long hours each week. Men who worked long hours were more likely to have arthritis but not life-threatening diseases. The study was supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

The study, “Chronic Disease Risks From Exposure to Long-Hour Work Schedules Over a 32-Year Period,” was published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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