Working over 40 hours per week is associated with an increased risk for masked and sustained hypertension in white-collar workers, a study in Hypertension reports.
A total of 3547 white-collar workers, most of whom had jobs providing insurance services to the general population in Quebec, were included in this study. During a 5-year period, data were collected in 3 waves that included responses to a questionnaire on work environment blood pressure (BP) risk factors, self-reported weekly working hours, and BP to assess the association between working hours and risk of masked and sustained hypertension. Participants reported the number of hours they worked at each assessment, and blood pressure was measured at rest and recorded.
A clinic BP <140/90 mm Hg and ambulatory BP ≥135/85 mm Hg defined masked hypertension. Sustained hypertension was categorized as a clinic BP ≥140/90 mm Hg and ambulatory BP ≥135/85 mm Hg or currently being treated for hypertension.
In an adjusted analysis, the prevalence of masked hypertension was highest for participants who reported working 41 to 48 hours per week (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.54; 95% CI, 1.09-2.19) and those who reported working ≥49 hours per week (PR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.12-2.77). The fully adjusted model also found a higher prevalence of sustained hypertension in participants who reported working between 41 to 48 hours (PR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.99-1.76) and ≥49 hours (PR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.15-2.50).
Limitations of the study included the self-reporting for working hours, the inclusion of only white-collar workers, as well as the lack of nocturnal BP measurements.
According to the researchers, the assessment of “long working hours might be useful for the early identification of at-risk workers who could benefit from ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.”
Trudel X, Brisson C, Gilbert-Ouimet M, et al. Long working hours and the prevalence of masked and sustained hypertension. Hypertension. 2020;75(2):532-538.