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Journal Article


Takahashi M. J. Occup. Health 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Japan.


(Copyright © 2019, Japan Society for Occupational Health)






OBJECTIVES: Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases (CCVDs) and mental disorders, including suicide, are prevalent among overworked individuals in Japan. The 2014 legislation regarding the prevention of overwork-related deaths and disorders has accelerated the research in this field and ultimately the implementation of preventive actions.

METHODS: To understand the current problematic situations, the Research Center for Overwork-Related Disorders of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan, conducted analyses of compensated claims for overwork-related CCVDs and mental disorders that were recognized from January 2010 to March 2015.

RESULTS: The majority of CCVD cases were the men in their 50s. Transport and postal activities was the highest risk industry. Cerebrovascular cases were higher than cardiovascular ones. Long working hours was the principal factor for CCVDs. The mental disorder cases comprised approximately 70% men and affected younger age groups (peak in the third decade) with various industries at risk. In men, there was an almost equal number of F3 (Mood [affective] disorders) and F4 (Neurotic, stress-related, and somatoform disorders) diagnoses according to the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. A larger number of women were diagnosed to have F4. The mental disorder cases were associated not only with long working hours, but also with injuries and disasters as well as interpersonal conflict at work.

CONCLUSIONS: Multiple, simultaneous actions need to be made by employees, employers, researchers, and the authorities to achieve the goal of reducing the number of workers suffering from the overwork-related CCVDs and mental disorders.

© 2019 The Authors. Journal of Occupational Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of The Japan Society for Occupational Health.

Language: en


Karoshi; excessive fatigue; overtime legislation in Japan; primary prevention; psychosocial work environment; work schedules


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