People who work long hours at higher risk for alcohol excess
People who work more than 49 hours a week are more likely to engage in "risky alcohol consumption," according to analysis by Finnish researchers of studies done in 14 countries.
Scientists at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki conducted a cross-sectional analysis of studies involving 333,693 adults, and a prospective analysis of studies involving 100,602 adults from nine countries. Researchers analyzed the number of hours people worked each week and correlated it to alcohol use. Risky alcohol use was defined as more than 21 drinks each week for men, and more than 14 drinks each week for women.
The cross-sectional analysis found that working long hours increased the likelihood of risky alcohol consumption by 11 percent and the prospective analysis found the likelihood to be 12 percent. Analysis of individual participant information from 18 prospective studies found that people who worked 49 to 54 hours a week were 13 percent more likely to engage in risky alcohol consumption, compared to those who worked 35 to 40 hours a week.
The results held even after accounting for the participants' sex, age, region and socioeconomic status, according to the study, which was published in _BMJ (British Medical Journal). _
Researchers acknowledged that alcohol consumption can be a stress reliever for people working long hours and facing deadline demands. They said their research supports the recommendations of the European Union Working Time Directive that people not work more than 48 hours a week.