Job stress: health warning

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The findings of a new study have revealed that holding a high stress job could raise your risk for stroke. Researchers reviewed six previous studies that offered conflicting results on the topic in the past.

“Having a lot of job stress has been linked to heart disease, but studies on job stress and stroke have shown inconsistent results,” the author Dingli Xu, MD, with Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, said in a press statement.

Xu and colleagues analysed the previous half dozen studies on the topic involving more than 138,000 participants who were followed for periods ranging from three to 17 years.

Jobs were classified into four groups based on how much control workers had over their tasks and how demanding the job was. Job demands including time pressure, mental load, and coordination burdens were all taken into account. The total number of hours worked and how much physical labor was involved in a job were not considered in the study.

The four job categories were:

   1. Passive jobs (low demand/low control) – Jobs such as janitors, miners, and other types of manual laborers

   2. Low stress jobs (low demand/high control) – Jobs such as natural scientists and architects

   3. High stress jobs (high demand/low control) – Service industry jobs, including waitressing and nursing aides

   4. Active jobs (high demand/high control) – Jobs such as doctors, teachers, and engineers

Between 11-27% of participants analysed held what were considered high stress jobs. The researchers reported that people with high stress jobs had a 22% greater risk of stroke than people who worked in low stress jobs.

Women were more susceptible to stroke overall, and those women who held high stress jobs had a 33% higher risk of stroke than women in low stress jobs.

According to the authors, 4.4% of the stroke risk was due to high stress jobs. For women, that number increased to 6.5%.

Read the full article here: http://goo.gl/qW1FCr

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    Amelia Walker

    Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Amelia Walker