People with high strain jobs are 22% more likely to have a stroke than those who are in low stress jobs, says study.
Researchers have found a link between job stress and accidental stroke.
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According to a new study, people with high strain jobs are 22% more likely to have a stroke than those who are working in low stress jobs. The risk increases drastically in women up to 33% if they are involved in a high strain job.
Southern Medical University researchers analyzed the data of nearly 140,000 workers who had been monitored for 4 to 17 years. The data was obtained from six previously published studies which had inconsistent and conflicting results. The latest research was an effort to eliminate the uncertainty and to find a connection between work stress and risk of stroke.
“Having a lot of job stress has been linked to heart disease but studies on job stress and stroke have shown inconsistent results,” said Dr. Dingli Xu from Southern Medical University in China and the lead author of the research. “It’s possible that high stress jobs lead to more unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise.”
To define the stress levels of jobs, researchers divided them in four categories: high strain job, passive jobs, active jobs and low strain jobs.
High stress jobs are high demand and low control jobs like waitresses and nursing aides. Passive jobs are those with low demand and low control like miners or caretakers. Active jobs are those that require high demand and high control like doctor, engineer and teachers. Low stress jobs are with low demand and high control including natural scientists and architects.
Researchers considered many factors in determining which job will fall in which category including the amount of work, mental load required to finish the tasks, interruptions, degree of concentration and coordination required, time pressure and conflicting demands.
Aside from higher overall risk of stroke, people with high stress jobs have shocking 58% more chances of ischemic stroke at some point of their lives. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, which is caused by the blockage of blood flow. No increased risk of stroke has been found in people with active and passive jobs.
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“Exposure to high strain jobs was associated with an increased risk of stroke, especially in women. Further studies are needed to confirm whether interventions to reduce work stress decrease the risk of stroke.” Study concludes.