MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Long working hours are an independent risk factor for masked and sustained hypertension, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in Hypertension.

Xavier Trudel, Ph.D., from Laval University in Quebec, and colleagues examined the prevalence of masked and sustained hypertension among individuals who work long hours using data collected at three time points over five years from 3,547 white-collar workers. The definition of masked hypertension was clinical blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg and an ambulatory blood pressure of ≥135/85 mm Hg, while sustained hypertension was defined as clinical blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg and an ambulatory blood pressure of ≥135/85 mm Hg or being treated for hypertension.

The researchers found that after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, lifestyle-related risk factors, diabetes mellitus, family history of cardiovascular disease, and job strain, long working hours were associated with the prevalence of masked hypertension (prevalence ratio for those working 49+ hours/week, 1.70). There was an association of comparable magnitude for sustained hypertension (prevalence ratio for those working 49+ hours/week, 1.66).

“Increased clinical awareness on the adverse effect of long working hours could, therefore, contribute to improve hypertension prevention and management at both individual and population levels,” the authors write. “From a public health perspective, health policies and workplace initiatives should consider reducing the prevalence of long working hours for the primary prevention of both types of hypertension.”

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