aggression

  1. Overtime linked to depression

    The only thing worse than a late night at the office catching up on paperwork is late night...after late night...after late night...at the office, stuck in a job where you're always catching up, but you never quite get there.

    If that's your story, you might want to consider a career change before it's too late: The latest research finds that people who work the longest hours have a higher risk of major depression.

    (And attention bosses who expect all those late nights: No, your employees don't do it because they love the work -- they do it because they fear losing their jobs.)

    In the new study, some 2,000 British office workers were tracked for nearly six years -- and those who clocked more than 11 hours a day were nearly two and a half times more likely to come down with major depression than those who stuck to the "normal" seven-hour or eight-hour shift.

    You might think some of these people were depressed to begin with -- which is perhaps why they were so willing to throw themselves on the mercy of their jobs.

    But, in this case, the researchers wrote in PLoS One that none of the workers showed any sign of mental problems at the start of the study. The link even held after all the usual risk factor adjustments.

    In other words, it's the work -- and, more specifically, far too many hours at work -- causing that increase in depression risk.

    And that's not the only danger that comes with too much overtime. Those long hours could actually kill you.

    One recent study found that people who work between three and four hours of overtime a day have a 60 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who stick to regular office hours.

    That same study also confirmed what's already obvious to anyone regularly putting in 10 or 12 hours at a time: All that extra work can cause stress, aggression, hostility, and sleep disorders.

    And of course, overtime can sap your social life and alienate you from your family.

    It's never easy finding a balance between work and home -- but find that balance. It could literally save your life.

  2. How not to quit smoking

    A long list of risks just got even longer: The feds now say the anti-smoking drug Chantix can boost the odds of a heart attack.

    They claim the risk is small... but hey, they think you should know about it anyway.

    Isn't that nice of them?

    The FDA says a recent study of 700 smokers who already had cardiovascular disease found that patients who took the drug were a little more likely to suffer chest pain, non-fatal heart attacks, and other heart problems than those who were given a placebo.

    The agency says it'll update the warning labels and has ordered the drug's maker, Pfizer, to carry out a new analysis of previous trials to see if there's any other evidence of heart risk attached to the med.

    That's a little like asking a student to grade his own homework, isn't it?

    In this case, however, the "homework" is responsible for $800 million in annual sales -- so you can bet the student will give himself an "A+++" if he can.

    The truth is, we don't need a new analysis, a new study, or even a new warning to know that this med is bad news.

    Just look at all the risks -- including the possibility of suicide, even in patients who were not depressed before they started taking the drug. One recent study found that Chantix-related suicides could be twice as common as previously reported. (Read about it here.)

    The drug has also been linked to hostility, aggression and violence -- so much so that one analysis earlier this year found that Chantix users are 18 times more likely to be involved in violence than those who take any other drug. (Click here to read more.)

    Other side effects include hallucinations, paranoia, confusion and weird dreams -- and some of them can actually kick in even after you stop taking the drug.

    Of course, the feds say patients need to weigh the risks against the benefits -- and they think the risks of this drug are nothing compared to the benefits of kicking your tobacco habit.

    But that argument is a little ridiculous when you consider that up to 80 percent of all patients who try Chantix are back to smoking within a year.

    In other words, there's not a lot of benefit here... only more risk, hidden in a big cloud of FDA-approved smoke.

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