By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS AUGUST 19, 2015
People who work 55 hours or more per week have a 33 percent greater risk of stroke and a 13 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease than those working standard hours, researchers reported on Wednesday in the Lancet.
The new analysis includes data on more than 600,000 individuals in Europe, the United States and Australia, and is the largest study thus far of the relationship between working hours and cardiovascular health. But the analysis was not designed to draw conclusions about what caused the increased risk and could not account for all relevant confounding factors.
“Earlier studies have pointed to heart attacks as a risk of long working hours, but not stroke,” said Dr. Urban Janlert, a professor of public health at Umea University in Sweden, who wrote an accompanying editorial. “That’s surprising.”
Mika Kivimaki, a professor of epidemiology at University College London, and his colleagues combined the results of multiple studies and tried to account for factors that might skew the results. In addition to culling data from published studies, the researchers also compiled unpublished information from public databases and asked authors of previous work for additional data.
Dr. Steven Nissen, the chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, found the methodology unconvincing. “It’s based upon exclusively observational studies, many of which were unpublished,” and some never peer-reviewed, he said.
Seventeen studies of stroke included 528,908 men and women who were tracked on average 7.2 years. Some 1,722 nonfatal and deadly strokes were recorded. After controlling for smoking, physical activity and high blood pressure and cholesterol, the researchers found a one-third greater risk of stroke among those workers who reported logging 55 or more hours weekly, compared with those who reported working the standard 35 to 40 hours.
While the increase in risk for each individual was slight, experts said the effect was noteworthy in a large population in which many people are working long hours.
In his editorial, Dr. Janlert said, “Long working hours are not a negligible occurrence.” Full-time American workers in nonagricultural industries labor for an average 42.5 hours per week, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But workweek hours vary sharply depending on occupation and company culture. In Gallup surveys in 2013 and 2014, nearly four in 10 full-time American workers reported laboring at least 50 hours weekly, and half said they usually work more than 40 hours.
Dr. Kivimaki and his colleagues also found the risk of stroke increased as work hours lengthened. But he said, “we found no differences between men and women, or between older people and younger ones, or those with higher or lower socioeconomic status.”
Dr. Ralph Sacco, a former president of the American Heart Association, said, “The consistency of the findings across published and unpublished data — that alignment is a strength and makes this more convincing.”
The analysis of coronary heart disease among workers included 25 studies involving 603,838 people. (Some of these studies were also used in the stroke analysis.) After a mean of 8.5 years, 4,768 had received diagnoses of heart disease as a cause of death or hospitalization. The researchers accounted for age, sex and socioeconomic status.
Dr. Stephen L. Kopecky, a professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Mayo Clinic, said that this analysis did not fully account for the effects of cholesterol, family history and blood pressure in all cases, so it is possible that long hours are not entirely to blame. Furthermore, he argued, it matters to stroke risk whether an employee has a job with high demands and little control, which researchers call “job strain.” “You have higher blood pressure when you have job strain,” Dr. Kopecky said. “And guess what that’s associated with? Stroke.”
Another limitation: individuals were asked just once the number of hours they work.
A randomized trial could shed light on whether working long hours actually causes strokes. For example, scientists could assign some people working long hours to reduce them, and other overachievers to keep up their long hours, and then measure the health consequences and track factors like blood pressure, sleep duration, and stress response.
Dr. Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said a randomized study where “we can measure all the unmeasured factors” would help confirm these new results.
”It’s not a practical trial to do,” he said.
by Nino Leitner | 27th July 2015
We are very gear-centric here at cinema5D, but everyone’s aware that filmmaking is so much more than the latest and greatest camera or lens. Anyone who has been working on a film shoot has most likely made the experience that we work longer hours than most other professions, sometimes at crazy times of the day or on weekends, often at the expense of personal relationships with friends or family.
I have just discovered this documentary gem on Vimeo by the renowned cinematographer and 2-time Oscar winner Haskell Wexler, ASC, who started this project together with another cinematography master and 3-time Oscar winner, the late Conrad Hall, ASC (“American Beauty”), who died during the making of this film in 2003.
Don’t expect a cinematographic masterpiece here, but rather a gritty little no-budget documentary shot by Haskell Wexler with virtually no crew on a Mini-DV camera, motivated by the sheer frustration with the insane work hours that workers both in Hollywood productions and internationally are expected to put in every day.
It’s already more than ten years old but hasn’t lost any of its relevance – within those ten years, technology has fundamentally changed the accessibility of high-standard production quality, however the amount of work hours on average film sets haven’t decreased at all. It’s as relevant as it was on the day of its release.
Poor sleep might be the mechanism that triggers Alzheimer’s memory loss
Which means we may be able to use sleep to fight the condition.
FIONA MACDONALD 8 JUN 2015
New research suggests that poor sleep may be a crucial missing piece in the Alzheimer’s puzzle, and could lead to new treatments for the debilitating memory loss associated with the disease.
Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley in the US have found evidence that the protein believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease, known as beta-amyloid, may also be involved in blocking deep, restorative sleep - the kind that we need each night in order to move our short-term memories over to a more permanent region of our brains.
Cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity have all been linked to reduced sleep.
The body clock drives huge changes in the human body.
It alters alertness, mood, physical strength and even the risk of a heart attack in a daily rhythm.
Modern society means many people are now "living against" their body clocks with damaging consequences for health and wellbeing.
Dr Akhilesh Reddy, from the University of Cambridge, said the body clock influences every biological process in the human body and the health consequences of living against the clock were "pretty clear cut”.
Science believes that improving sleep can reduce the decline and shrinking of the brain.
There are those who believe that after a number of sleep depriving hours on a series they can rest and recover from whatever damage that experience visited on their body. “Don’t worry dear, I’m going to rest all week.” She may answer; “Good, I will introduce you to Freddy, tomorrow is his 13th birthday.”
World science and medical authorities speak of how “a corporatized world is supremely arrogant ignoring the importance of sleep.” New research shows a good nights rest is not a luxury – it’s critical for your brain and your health.
Not that we need more information to say the way we’re obliged to work is a senseless, deadly, long lasting human disaster.
The reason I write this about brain scans, is that it causes permanent, measurable harm not cured by time off or a charitable Producer ride to a nearby hotel. Brain scans of those subjected to our kind of sleep deprivation has shown a more rapid “decrease in the frontal temporal and parietal part of the brain.”
Next week there is a Western Regional Council Meeting where we had hoped to read the new contract. For some reason it won’t be there. However, Bruce last week mentioned proudly that the Producers will deal with fatigued workers if they wanted nearby hotels.
What I have presented above and the full meaning of the first line of the IA Long Hours Resolution - “There exists indisputable evidence from scientific, medical and empirical studies linking sleep deprivation and fatigue to critical safety and health hazards.” – goes beyond describing sleep deprivation as personal fatigue.
The last line of the unanimous Resolution says that our health and safety should be beyond compromise.
What we have learned about sleepiness is somewhat surprising. A very small amount of sleep debt or sleep loss can make a person dangerous.
A study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that going just 17 to 19 hours without sleep produces blood levels over the limit of being legally drunk.
Drowsiness can be an alert but many studies and my personal experiences proves an individual will can’t make you escape a lights out fall to sleep.
I remember going home on the 101 after a long shoot, really tired. I rolled down the windows. I played the radio full blast. I even thought of Brent. The next thing I knew - lights out. I heard the para-medics debate whether I was dead or alive. Now I know, you can’t will yourself to stay awake.
Studies show sleepy drivers cause at least 100,000 accidents a year. And the number may be 3 to 4 times that. No one really knows.
In the film “Who Needs Sleep”, the doctor showed testing that he was doing and said:
"We looked at patients who we deprived of sleep, over one week two hours a night. And we kept one group up just 24 hours. And then we got one group drunk. And we compared the sleepy patients with the group that got drunk and they essentially had the same performance. The sleepy people acted just like the drunk people on the driving course."
This level of cognitive failure, not playing with all your marbles, may be boastfully celebrated and bragged about but it should be discouraged on the set, in the workplace, as well as being considered deadly on the road.
If anyone wants to read a more definitive medical paper on this subject, please take the time to read this dissertation called “Sleep Deprivation: Impact On Cognitive Performance”
Spending time with circadian rhythms
By Alexander Michels, PhD August 11, 2014
Research at the Linus Pauling Institute has found that lipoic acid, a substance found in many plants and animals and also made in the body, modulates circadian rhythms in laboratory rodents. We realize that circadian rhythms aren’t something you hear about every day, so here is a primer on circadian rhythms and their importance.
The concept of biological clocks
We all know that human behavior is influenced by clocks. We consult alarm clocks, computer clocks, and phone clocks to set up a schedule of daily activities that need to happen at particular times. Often we establish daily timed patterns of activities, get accustomed to those patterns, and notice when changes disrupt our routine.
In a very similar way, our bodies have internal clocks to time certain physiological events. We are not conscious of many of these changes, such as alterations in blood flow, body temperature, or hormone production. But we do feel some of the results, for example, being tired or hungry at particular times of the day.
"Five score and ten years ago, here on this very spot, ardent advocates of a revolutionary idea, put forth, it was called the eight hour day"
- Studs Terkel, May 1st, 1996