People who work long hours may be at increased risk for high blood pressure, according to a study in Hypertension of 3,547 white-collar public employees in Canada.
The participants had their blood pressure taken at their workplace at three points over five years and, after each measurement, wore an ambulatory monitor that took readings every 15 minutes for the rest of the workday. Compared to their peers with shorter work weeks, those who reported working 49 or more hours per week had a higher likelihood of both masked hypertension (meaning normal blood pressure in the doctor’s office or clinic but elevated blood pressure at other times) and sustained hypertension (elevated blood pressure regardless of measurement place).
The association held up after the researchers adjusted for factors including socioeconomic status, body mass index, alcohol intake, smoking, family history of cardiovascular disease, and level of reported job stress.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Measuring Your Blood Pressure at Home.