The Global Death Toll From Working Too Much on the Rise

Take it easy. Stop working so hard. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack. I’m really worried about you.” At one point in your career, you may have heard this from a loved one.

You probably met this concern with excuses and rationalizations saying things like, “The company is depending on me. I’m close to getting a raise and promotion if I keep this up!” You don’t think of the toll taken on your emotional, mental and physical health. It’s all about building and growing your career, in an attempt to climb the corporate ladder.

It’s easy to believe that you can keep putting in the long hours and endure the unrelenting stress without repercussions. There is a feeling of invincibility. “Bad things happen to other people,” you tell yourself. “I’m relatively young and healthy,” you believe. “These are my prime earning years and I have to hustle.

The problem is, according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), “Long working hours led to 745,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, a 29% increase since 2000.” The substantial number of strokes and heart disease resulted from workingat least 55 hours a week.” The study by the WHO and ILO concludes that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with a higher risk of a stroke and dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35 to 40 hours a week. There is heightened concern that people are working increasingly longer hours, which puts more people at risk of an “early death.” They are literally working themselves to death.


Corona Virus Contamination And Age

There are two sources that provide age, sex, and comorbidity statistics:

  • The Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission published on Feb. 28 by WHO, [2] which is based on55,924 laboratory confirmed cases. The report notes that “The Joint Mission acknowledges the known challenges and biases of reporting crude CFR early in an epidemic” (see also our discussion on: How to calculate the mortality rate during an outbreak)
  • A paper by the Chinese CCDC released on Feb. 17, which is based on 72,314 confirmed, suspected, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in China as of Feb. 11, and was published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology [1]

We will list data from both, labeling them as “confirmed cases” and “all cases” respectively in the tables.

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by AGE:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on the age group. The percentages shown below do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the risk of dying if infected with COVID-19.

confirmed cases
all cases
80+ years old
70-79 years old
60-69 years old
50-59 years old
40-49 years old
30-39 years old
20-29 years old
10-19 years old
0-9 years old
no fatalities