CHICAGO (CBSNEWS.COM) – People who stay up late and have to drag themselves out of bed are likelier to die younger than those who rise and set with the sun, according to new research. A study of nearly half a million people in Britain found that night owls had a 10 percent higher risk of dying in the 6.5-year study period than “larks,” or people who have a natural preference for going to bed and waking up early.

“This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored,” said study co-author Malcolm van Schantz of the University of Surrey, arguing that “night types” should be allowed to start and finish work later in the day.

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“Night owls trying to live in a morning-lark world may (suffer) health consequences,” said fellow author Kristen Knutson of Northwestern University in Chicago.

The duo analyzed information on more than 430,000 people aged 38 to 73 from a public database.

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The participants had defined themselves as either “definitely a morning person” (27 percent), “more a morning person than evening person” (35 percent), “more an evening than a morning person” (28 percent), or “definitely an evening person” (9 percent).

They also listed their weight, smoking habits, and socioeconomic status.

Deaths in the group — just over 10,500 in total — were documented for six and a half years.

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