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Sep 09, 2015 05:26 PM EDT

Working Long Hours May Lead To Alcohol Abuse


New research suggests that people who work long hours can increase risk of adverse health problems.

Researchers found that working more than 48 hours per week are more likely to engage in risky alcohol consumption than those who work standard week. They also have an increased risk of liver diseases, cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease and mental disorders.

Risky alcohol consumption is considered as more than 14 drinks per week for women and more than 21 drinks per week for men. 

"The workplace is an important setting for the prevention of alcohol misuse, because more than half of the adult population are employed," researchers wrote in the study. "Further research is needed to assess whether preventive interventions against risky alcohol use could benefit from information on working hours."

For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from nearly 333,700 people in 14 countries.

They found that longer working hours increased the likelihood of higher alcohol use by 11 percent. A prospective analysis found a similar increase in risk of 12 percent for onset of risky alcohol use in more than 100,600 people from nine countries.

Individual participant data from 18 prospective studies showed that those who worked 49 to 54 hours and 55 hours per week or more were found to have an increased risk of 13 and 12 percent respectively of risky alcohol consumption compared with those who worked 35 to 40 hours per week.

The findings are detailed in the journal BMJ.

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