Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cut down on the overtime! Working more than eight hours a day raises the risk of heart disease by 80% (?)

More useless epidemiology.  It could be that working class people were more likely to be in jobs that required overtime and they were less healthy anyway

Doing overtime increases the risk of heart  disease by up to 80 per cent, a major study has claimed.  Researchers say long working hours could be condemning thousands of employees to heart attacks and strokes.

The warning follows analysis of 12 studies dating back as far as 1958, involving a total of 22,000 people from around the world.

The analysis, by scientists at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, found that those whose working days that were longer than the traditional eight hours had a 40 to 80 per cent greater chance of heart disease.

The size of the increase varied depending on how each study was carried out.

The effects were more pronounced when participants were asked how long they worked for - but when researchers closely monitored working hours, the increased risk of heart disease was closer to 40 per cent.

Lead researcher Dr Marianna Virtanen said the effects could be due to 'prolonged exposure to stress'. Other triggers could be poor eating habits and lack of exercise due to restricted leisure time.

In 2009, the same team discovered that long working hours increased the risk of dementia later in life. The effect was similar in magnitude to that of smoking.

Middle-aged workers putting in 55 hours or more a week had poorer brain function than those clocking up no more than 40 hours, with lower scores on tests to measure intelligence, short-term memory and word recall.

Britons work some of the longest hours in Europe, with full-time employees averaging 42.7 a week. Those in Germany typically work for 42, while Danes do 39.1.

It estimated that more than five million people a year in Britain work unpaid extra hours to hang on to their jobs.

But the long-term toll on workers' health could be devastating, the new research suggests.

In a report on the findings Dr Virtanen said: 'There are several potential mechanisms that may underlie the association between long working hours and heart disease.

In addition to prolonged exposure to psychological stress she said other triggers could be raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, poor eating habits and lack of physical activity due to restricted leisure time.


Drinking too much water probably killed bushwalker, coroner declares

It's not the water as such that kills you.  It is the way all the water dilutes the levels of salt in your blood.  The food freaks are always going on about salt being bad for you but it is too little salt that is likely to kill you

A 30-YEAR-OLD Victorian man who died while bushwalking in North-West Tasmania last year most likely died from excessive consumption of water, a coroner has found.

The findings have come with a strong warning about the dangers of drinking too much water while exercising, and calls for better education about how much water the human body can safely take in.

Coroner Michael Brett said that Jonathan Paul Dent died on or about April 19 last year while bushwalking in the Dial Ranges, near Devonport.

In handing down his findings, Mr Brett said Mr Dent had most likely died from exercise-related hyponatremia, "which itself resulted from excessive consumption of water during the course of the prolonged exertion of the bushwalk".

After an initial autopsy failed to determine Mr Dent's cause of death, Mr Brett arranged for the evidence to be reviewed by Professor Anthony Bell, whose report noted that the autopsy showed a swollen brain with signs of herniation, which was consistent with excess water consumption.

According to Mr Brett, Mr Dent had set out for a bushwalk alone about 9.30am on April 19 from Wings Wildlife Park with the intention of following the track to Foggs Flat, a walk of about four hours.

Mr Brett said Mr Dent appeared to be in good health and was well equipped for the walk - he carried a mobile phone and was appropriately dressed for the conditions.

During the course of the day, Mr Dent's wife, Katherine, had several telephone calls from him indicating that he was lost but was still hopeful of making his way to a planned meeting spot with her later in the day.

By about 4pm he called his wife saying he was tired and dehydrated.  Further conversations indicated that he was lying down and his breathing was heavy and he was coughing, Mr Brett said.

By 8.25pm, Mrs Dent reported to Ulverstone Police that her husband was missing.  Mr Dent's body was found at 1.10pm the next day on a track just north of Foggs Flats.

Mr Brett said the case highlighted two specific concerns, including a general perception, particularly among people involved in athletic activities, "that one should drink as much as possible and avoid becoming dehydrated during prolonged strenuous exercise".

He said that there was a need for greater education in relation to the danger associated with excessive consumption of fluid during exercise.

Mr Brett also highlighted the issue of bushwalking alone.  "Had Mr Dent been in company, whilst it cannot be said that he would not have suffered the condition that led to his death, I suspect that he would have been in a substantially better condition to cope with the disorientation and fear that arose from being lost," he said.


1 comment:

John A said...

"Mainstream" on salt -
End Salt War

Largely, cutting down on salt often benefits those who already have hypertension. Or those with a genetic predisposition of hypersensivity to salt - but who we must not warn ("a small percentage of the population, including some African-Americans and elderly individuals") for fear of seeming racist: rather than publish a warning to a target group of a perhaps three million, broadcast warnings and proscribe salt for over three hundred millions - and leave those most at risk without the knowledge that their risk is far higher than usual and they should take special care including having their doctor/clinic take it into account.