Can working long hour affects our heart ?

“Working long hours is a major risk factor for heart-related ailments, almost equivalent to having diabetes and hypertension together,” said a doctor

In May 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that long working hours have been increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke. In the pandemic, this has become a more pressing issue, as working from home has caused people to spend long hours in front of their computer screens. The report by WHO and ILO found that this work-related burden is particularly significant in men.  According to Dr Kumar Narayanan, consultant cardiac electrophysiologist at Medicover Hospitals Hyderabad, the link between mental stress and heart disease is well established. “Nowadays, not only are working hours excessively long, but stress at work has escalated exponentially. Work timings are also often unhealthy, extending into odd hours as people work across time zones in a globally-linked world. All this leads to harmful stress responses in the body, along with unhealthy diet, sedentariness, smoking and inadequate sleep.”
Weighing his thoughts on this, Dr P C Mondal, a senior consultant intervention cardiologist and HOD at Kolkata’s Apollo-Gleneagles Hospital said while patients with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases (especially heart failure) and those with coronary risk factors (diabetes, obesity) are at an increased risk of severe disease and mortality from COVID-19(especially older patients), there may also be the development of new cardiovascular implications (including cardiomyopathy/myocarditis/Acute Coronary Syndromes) in patients without pre-existing cardiovascular diseases.
What are the things that one needs to know –

1. Avoiding a diet rich in fats, salt, low fiber, junk and fast foods.
2. Exercising more.
3. Lowering the consumption of tobacco, or completely stopping it.
“Psychosocial stress includes job-related stress due to long working hours, persistent stress, high work demands, and job insecurity,” he said, adding: “All these factors over a period of 25 years lead to the same level of risk of heart attacks as people who smoke and do not exercise.”
Summing it up, Dr Ulhas M Pandurangi, chief of division of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Arrhythmia-Heart Failure Academy, Chennai, noted: “Stress can tax the heart dearly. It is clear — working long hours is a major risk factor for heart-related ailments, almost equivalent to having diabetes and hypertension together.”
Foods which are good for a healthy heart –
1. Eat fish high in omega-3s such as salmon, tuna etc
2. Healthy nuts like almonds or walnuts
3. Berries containing phytonutrients such as blueberries, strawberries etc
4. Oats are the comfort food nutrient powerhouse.
5. Fruits like orange and papaya.
6.  Dark chocolates
7. Legumes
8. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli etc. 

Categories: Health, Science

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