Unhealthy men who work for long hours are at two-fold risk of dying from heart disease, experts have warned.

A recent study has revealed that those who don’t exercise regularly and work for more that 45 hours a week are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than unfit men who work shorter periods, reports the Daily Mail.

The study examined data for almost 5,000 men aged 40 to 59, from 14 different companies, whose and fitness levels were tracked over 30 years.

The men completed cycling exercise tests to assess their fitness and provided details on the average number of hours they worked every week.

Around 70 per cent of men worked between 41 and 45 hours a week, while around 20 per cent worked longer hours.

Researchers found that those who were both unfit and worked more than 45 hours a week had a 59 per cent higher risk of dying from heart disease as those working under 40 hours.

But physically fit men working longer hours were 45 per cent less likely to die of heart disease and 38 per cent less likely to die of other causes than those who were unfit.

The findings, by a team from the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark, held true despite factors likely to influence the results, such as work stress and living conditions.

The authors said it seems that work - irrespective of whether it is physically demanding - leads to a rise in heart rate and blood pressure.

The findings appeared in the journal Heart.

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