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Photo: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Working long hours can increase risk of death, according to a first-of-its-kind study by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.

Why it matters: The study does not cover the pandemic, but its authors say that working long hours is now the risk factor with the largest occupational disease burden.

By the numbers: As a result of working at least 55 hours per week, about 398,000 people died from stroke and 347,000 from heart disease in 2016.

  • The number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours jumped by 42% between 2000 and 2016.
  • Compared to working 35 to 40 hours per week, working 55 or more hours weekly is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease.
  • This higher risk is "particularly significant" in middle-aged or older workers, men and people living in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.
  • Working long hours is responsible for about one-third of all estimated work-related burden of disease.

What they're saying: "The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. "Teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work.

  • "In addition, many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours," he said.
  • "No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers."

Go deeper

Why hybrid work is the enemy of change

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Companies around the world are responding to the pandemic-induced rise of telework by transitioning to a hybrid of in-person and remote work. But that model is inherently flawed, experts say.

The big picture: Employers haven't been clear with their definitions of hybrid work — whether it means the workforce is hybrid or the workweek is hybrid — and that hasn't allowed workers to make the big changes to their lifestyles that flexible work should allow.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.