Long Working Hours Increases Risk of Alcohol Dependency

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Working more than 48hrs a week could lead to the increased consumption of alcohol, a recent study suggests.

Researchers in Finland studied 333,693 people across 14 countries and found that the more hours that were worked the likeliness of a higher alcohol intake increased by 11%.

Female employees working long hours were found to be at greater risk of drinking at least 2 glasses of wine per night, and men were found to be at risk of drinking at least 3 pints.

"Individuals whose working hours exceed standard recommendations are more likely to increase their alcohol use to levels that pose a health risk," said Dr Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, in an article for The Telegraph.

Studies have shown that hundreds of thousands of people drink around half a bottle of wine per night. Consuming too much alcohol is known to increase the risk of liver disease, stroke, cancer, heart disease and mental health disorders.

Men who drink more than 2 pints per day are 2.5 times more likely to get mouth, neck or throat cancer. Women are 1.7 times more likely to get these conditions as well as developing a 20% increased risk of getting breast cancer, shows research published in the British Medical Journal.

The link between long working hours and the increase consumption of alcohol could be affected by factors such as the working environment as well as the individual person.

"One view is that alcohol use alleviates stress that is caused by work pressure and working conditions." continued Virtanen.

Alcohol dependency is becoming a huge problem in the UK. There are nearly 7,000 alcohol related deaths every year and 65,000 young people each year are admitted to A&E, shows statistics from the charity Drinkaware.

Guidelines from the NHS recommend that men should drink no more than 3-4 units a day; the equivalent of around two pints of beer and women 2-3 units, around one large 250ml glass of wine.

Whilst many see their drinking habits as a way of relaxing after a hard day's work it may be doing a lot more damage to their health than they would ever of anticipated.

Source: Sarah Knapton - Science Editor - The Telegraph