Home LanguageEnglish People Should Face Up to the Diseases of Affluence “Karoshi”

People Should Face Up to the Diseases of Affluence “Karoshi”

by Audrey Hazel

2019 World Health Assembly (WHA) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, and the World Health Organization (WHO) listed “karoshi” as a disease for the first time in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).


Manchester, United Kingdom (Merxwire) – International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is an internationally harmonized disease classification standard issued by the WHO, which can help doctors diagnose diseases and serve as a basis for insurance companies to measure compensation. The WHO includes “karoshi” in the latest version of the ICD and defines it as “symptoms caused by long-term failure to resolve work stress.” It is equivalent to acknowledging that “karoshi” is one of the physical conditions.

The first case of karoshi was reported in 1969 with the stroke-related death of a 29-year-old male worker in the shipping department of Japan’s largest newspaper company. The term was invented in 1978 to refer to an increasing number of people suffering from fatal strokes and heart attacks attributed to overwork.

The karoshi described by the WHO has 3 symptoms:

  1. Feel mentally exhausted or exhausted
  2. Feeling detached, negative or skeptical about work
  3. Reduced work efficiency

According to the disease classification, “karoshi” refers to the symptoms of the working environment and is not applicable to other aspects of life.

Relevant international studies have pointed out that compared with people who work only 35 to 40 hours per week, people who work 55 hours per week with low salary have a 13% higher risk of heart attack. The chance of a burn-out causing a stroke is independent of salary. As long as you work longer, the risk is 33% higher.

Many people often overwork when they work hard, neglecting their health, and should adjust their work as necessary to achieve a balance with life. In addition to requiring employers to provide a reasonable working environment and avoid long hours of work, it is also recommended to exercise regularly, relax during the holidays, and to rest the body.

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