Job stress can lead to heart disease

25 January, 2007

Stress at the workplace can kill. A study has pointed out that working under stress can bring in the risk of a heart disease. As per a study published in the European Heart Journal, the stressed had less time to exercise and eat well, but they also showed signs of important biochemical changes.

The study that focused on more than 10,000 British civil servants found out that those under 50 who said their work was stressful were nearly 70 per more likely to develop heart disease than the stress-free. The study documented how workers felt about their job, and also monitored heart rate variability, blood pressure, and the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. They also took notes about diet, exercise, smoking and drinking, a report said.

Researchers then conducted studies to find out how many people had developed coronary heart disease or suffered a heart attack and how many had died of it. It was found that that chronic work stress was associated with coronary heart disease. Significantly, the association was stronger both among men and women below 50 years of age.

It was found that those who worked under stress had more or less keep away from fruit and vegetables and also were less likely to exercise. Incidentally, the study also pointed out that drinking was not a significant problem, though lifestyle was the main culprit.

Confirming that the biological mechanism get affected due to stressed jobs, the study found that stress appeared to upset the part of the nervous system which controls the heart, telling it how to work and controlling the variability of the heart rate. It was pointed out that a major part of the neuroendocrine system, which releases hormones, also seemed to be disturbed by stress.

The study however did not find strong evidence that the effect of work stress on heart disease is worse for those in lower grades. It said that the effect of stress was pretty much the same across different grades.




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