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April/May 2015 (vol. 11/6)

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Research Plus

Long hours raise risk of unhealthy level of drinking

People working long hours are significantly more likely both to consume more alcohol and to become risky drinkers, this meta-analysis of 63 studies reveals. The analysis of cross-sectional studies, which included more than 333,000 participants, finds that those working long hours are 11% more likely to drink more alcohol than those doing standard hours (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.11; CI 1.05–1.18). The analysis of prospective cohort studies revealed a 12% raised risk of ‘new onset risky alcohol use’ (OR = 1.12; CI 1.04–1.20) – defined as drinking more than 14 units/week for women and over 21 units/week for men, having been within recommended limits at the start of a study. The associations were independent of age, sex, socioeconomic status or geographic region. 

BMJ 2015; 350: g7772. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7772

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Occupational Health at Work April/May 2015 (vol. 11/6) pp48