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Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2012 Jun;21(2):54-9.

Overwork, stroke, and karoshi-death from overwork.

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Department of Medical Education and Research, Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Taiwan.


Karoshi, death from over-work, is usually the extreme result of acute cardiovascular events including stroke. Among 203 karoshi cases received worker compensation in Japan, sixty percent died of stroke. Karoshi is a term for social medicine originated form Japan. Literature reviews on karoshi found that long overtime at work, on duty in holidays, attending a new job with no family members around, and working at night shift are risk factors. Work stress increases secretion of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and cortisol which is associated with progression of atherosclerosis and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To avoid long working hours, stress management and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are key issues in preventing karoshi caused by stroke.

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