Long Days at Work Linked to Stroke Risk

2015-1002 Sleep at Work

Years ago, when I finished grad school, I accepted a job that required many long days at work. I thought this was the norm. I thought the only consequences were loss of sleep and lack of a social life. After years of working 80-hour weeks, I learned about another consequence. At first, the consequence was evident to my friends but not to me. Twelve years ago, one of my friends suggested my adversity was a direct result of the ridiculous time I spent at work. At the time, I did not completely buy into his theory. However, the more I read about the importance of sleep, the more I realized he was right.

Recently, a team of researchers concluded what my friend told me more than a decade ago — long hours at work are linked to adversity. Although the following study specifically links long hours at work to stroke, it would not surprise me to hear that long hours at work are also linked to numerous other adversities.

Reuters tells us that according to the study, “People who work at least 55 hours a week are significantly more likely to eventually suffer a stroke than people who work 35 to 40 hours a week.” The same study linked long work days to heart disease and heart attack. The same team previously linked long days at work to Type 2 diabetes for those in lower socioeconomic groups.

To read the complete article by Reuters, click here.


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to lead author Mika Kivimaki of University College London for reporting the findings; Reuters for writing the article used in this post; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post.


  1. Hi Scott – do you think your history of long workdays is the primary cause, or is it more likely there were many or several factors that played a role? If the latter what other factors contributed to your adversity?

    1. Howard, I am sure there were many factors. However, I believe that due to the ridiculous 80-hour work weeks, my body was more susceptible to the cancer and brain injury. The reason some people meet adversity and some don’t is that some people are truly fatigued and other are not.

      Since there are many factors outside our control, it is possible I would have faced the same adversity whether or not I was exhausted, worked 80-hour weeks, or ate better. I have never questioned why it happened, I have only thought about what I must do differently in the future. Doing things differently will not change the past, but it may help others in the future. ~ Scott

      1. Scott, I know you are not one to look backwards, and should have clarified that I was thinking of others I know who work or worked those insane hours. Lack of sleep is a common factor in all kinds of adversity!

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