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Long working hours and depressive symptoms: systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Public Health. Finnish Inst Occupat Hlth, Helsinki, Finland.. (Public Health Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8361-3301
Univ Helsinki, Inst Behav Sci, Helsinki, Finland..
Natl Res Ctr Working Environm, Copenhagen, Denmark..
Stockholm Univ, Stress Res Inst, Stockholm, Sweden..
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2018 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 239-250Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives This systematic review and meta-analysis combined published study-level data and unpublished individual-participant data with the aim of quantifying the relation between long working hours and the onset of depressive symptoms. Methods We searched PubMed and Embase for published prospective cohort studies and included available cohorts with unpublished individual-participant data. We used a random-effects meta-analysis to calculate summary estimates across studies. Results We identified ten published cohort studies and included unpublished individual-participant data from 18 studies. In the majority of cohorts, long working hours was defined as working >= 55 hours per week. In multivariable-adjusted meta-analyses of 189 729 participants from 35 countries [96 275 men, 93 454 women, follow-up ranging from 1-5 years, 21 747 new-onset cases), there was an overall association of 1.14 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.25] between long working hours and the onset of depressive symptoms, with significant evidence of heterogeneity (I-2 = 45.1%, P=0.004). A strong association between working hours and depressive symptoms was found in Asian countries (1.50, 95% CI 1.13-2.01), a weaker association in Europe (1.11, 95% CI 1.00-1.22), and no association in North America (0.97, 95% CI 0.70-1.34) or Australia (0.95, 95% CI 0.70-1.29). Differences by other characteristics were small. Conclusions This observational evidence suggests a moderate association between long working hours and onset of depressive symptoms in Asia and a small association in Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 44, no 3, p. 239-250
Keywords [en]
depression, mental health, overtime, psychological distress, working life, working time
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357663DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.3712ISI: 000431142500003PubMedID: 29423526OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357663DiVA, id: diva2:1241522
Available from: 2018-08-23 Created: 2018-08-23 Last updated: 2018-11-30

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