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STRUGGLING into work with a cold is not an act of dedication but a short-cut to heart disease, a study of British civil servants has found.
Employees who refuse to take time off when they are ill put strain on their hearts that can double the risk of coronary problems, according to the occupational health report.
The results showed that between 30 and 40 per cent of those who continued to work when ill — even when afflicted by a minor complaint such as the common cold — later suffered twice the rate of heart disease.
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, head of the survey, said that “presenteeism” leads to an increase in coronary heart disease. “So many people force themselves into work when they are not well and have little knowledge of the consequences,” he said. “Far from contributing to their companies or spreading a few germs around the office, they could be hastening their own death.