Job stress increases the risk of heart diseases and deaths from coronary diseases said UK researchers after analysing 13 existing European studies.
A demanding job over which you have no control can prove a deadly combination said the report published in the Lancet medical journal.
After analysing about 200,000 people, researchers concluded “job strain” raised the risk of heart attack and other coronary heart diseases by 23%. However, the British Heart Foundation said that it was not job stress but how people reacted to it that was responsible for heart diseases.
Any profession can lead to strain but the research team at University College London said it was more common in lower skilled workers. Doctors who have to do a lot of decision-making are less likely to have job strain than low-skilled worker in a busy factory production unit.
The effects of job strain on heart are comparatively lesser than negative effects of smoking or lack of exercise. The participants were asked questions about their workload, deadlines and other job-related questions such as freedom to make decisions.
Then they were sorted into two groups – people with job strain and people without it. The follow-up process lasted for seven and half years.
Prof Mika Kivimaki from University College London, who was a part of the study, said, “Our findings indicate that job strain is associated with a small but consistent increased risk of experiencing a first coronary heart disease event, such as a heart attack.”
According to the researcher, job strain was associated with other lifestyle choices that were harmful for the heart, for instance, smokers with job strain are likely to smoke more and active people with job strain are more likely to become inactive leading to obesity.
He further added, “If one has high stress at work you can still reduce risk by keeping a healthy lifestyle.”