Work stress 'raises heart risk'

21st September 2012

We came across an interesting article from the BBC about a surprising correlation between work related stress and heart problems. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

Researchers carrying out studies in the UK have found that working in a demanding job can lead to heart complications, especially if you don’t have control over your workload.

The group collated and compared a number of existing European studies covering almost 200,000 people. In their findings, they noted that job strain was directly connected to a staggering 23% increased chance of deaths from coronary heart disease and heart attack.

The risk isn’t comparable to smoking or lack of exercise, but it is still a significant increase. The way that people react to their workplace stress was the key to avoiding these dangerous conditions.

The University College London, who carried out the study, noted that the strain was more common in lower skilled workers. Doctors or Lawyers who have a lot of high pressure decision making would still be less likely to develop a condition than somebody working on a production line.

The subjects of the studies were sorted into those who experienced job strain, and those who did not, and then followed for around about seven years. The team found that if job strain were eliminated, there would be a 3.4% prevention rate. Although this is less than ten times the effect that stopping smoking would have, it is still an important issue to consider.

For those of you in a high pressure job with little chance of reducing stress, there are still ways to combat heart disease. Keeping an active and healthy lifestyle whilst cutting out smoking and drinking can reduce your chances of coronary complications by up to 35%.

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