Could the number of hours spent at work predict an individual's chance of developing coronary heart disease?
One group of European researchers thinks it's a possibility.
Based on the group's findings, presented in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who worked more than 11 hours per day had a 1.5-fold increased risk of developing coronary heart disease when compared to other subjects working seven to eight hours per day.
Coronary heart disease, a condition that causes the blood vessels to the heart to narrow, is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Other heart conditions such as angina and heart attacks contribute to the disease, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The team used data on 7,095 civil service workers in London gathered over the span of 11 years. Within the group, roughly 10 percent worked more than 11 hours per day.
In addition to looking at cholesterol, blood pressure, exercise and family history, the researchers think doctors should consider the number of work hours for an individual while assessing risks for cardiovascular disease.