Stressful jobs increase the risk of a heart attack
European researchers demonstrated in a study published online yesterday in The Lancet that having a stressful job might increase the chance of heart attack, even among those who take good care of their health.
The study gathered results from 13 European studies between 1985 and 2006, tracking the health of nearly 200,000 people in total. All participants completed questionnaires about their jobs, deadlines and freedom to make decisions.
Researchers applied an average follow-up period of 7.5 years and recorded a total of 2,356 cases of heart disease, among which there were hospital admissions for heart attack and deaths due to heart disease. Lifestyle, age, gender and socio-economic background are all factors, which contributed to the findings.
The study leader, Professor Mika from University College London 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.”
Speaking about future perspectives of a long-term economic crisis, Dr Bo Netterstrom, from Bispebjerg Hospital in the Netherlands, said: “Exposures such as job insecurity and factors related to social capital and emotions are likely to be of major importance in the future. The present economic crisis will almost certainly increase this importance.”
The findings of this study are worrying because they contradict one of our strongest convictions: that a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise would avoid several diseases. Results showed that those who have a really stressful job are at a relatively high risk of heart attacks despite leading an otherwise healthy life.