Middle-age workers doing more than 55 hours a week have poorer mental skills, including short-term memory and ability to recall words, than those clocking up fewer than 41 hours, a study has found.
The stress and exhaustion of long hours could be as bad for the brain as smoking, concluded the study.
Britain has some of the longest working hours in Europe, with one in eight doing more than 48 hours a week.
Many claim to thrive on the stress and long hours of demanding jobs.
But the study of 2,214 British civil servants, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, suggests they are underestimating the long-term damage they could be doing to their brains.
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