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Long Working Hours can increase deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke: WHO, ILO Study

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Long working hours increasing deathsAccording to a new study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), Long working hours are putting more people at risk of work-related disability and early death due to Stroke & Ischemic Heart Disease. The study is the 1st of its kind on loss of life and health associated with working long hours.

  • Working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% of higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from Ischemic Heart disease (compared to working 35-40 hours a week).
  • In 2016, Long working hours led to 7.45 lakh deaths from Stroke & Ischemic Heart Disease, an 29% increase since 2000.
  • The study covered global, regional and national levels, and is based on data collected from more than 2, 300 surveys conducted in 154 countries from 1970-2018.
  • It has been published in the Scientific Journal ‘Environment International’.

Analysis of Loss of Life and Health

i.WHO & ILO estimates that in 2016,

  • 3.98 lakh people died from stroke, 3.47 lakh people died from heart disease as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.
  • Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours increased by 42% and from stroke by 19%.

ii.Work-related disease burden is significant in men, with 72% of death among males.

  • middle-aged or older workers suffered significantly from the work-related disease.
  • Most deaths recorded were among people dying aged 60-79 years, who had worked for 55 hours or more per week during the ages of 45-74 years.

COVID-19 Pandemic

During the pandemic, the number of people working long hours is increasing, putting more people at risk of work-related disability and early death.

Recent Related News:

December 5, 2020, According to “Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19” released by ILO, Women and Lower-paid workers were impacted the most due to decrease in wages because of reduced working hours during the COVID-19 crisis.

About World Health Organization (WHO)

Director-General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

About International Labour Organization (ILO)

Director-General – Guy Ryder
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland