London: Being bossed around in a stressful job raises chances of a heart attack by 25 percent, warn researchers.
They said workers who feel over-pressured yet powerless are more at danger than counterparts who suffer less stress. Their findings are based on 200,000 workers, including civil servants to factory workers.
“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,” said Mika Kivimaki, professor at the University College London (UCL), who led the study, medical journal The Lancet reports.
Previous research has suggested stress at work can trigger heart problems but there have been conflicting results. The UCL investigation pooled results from 13 studies in Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Sweden between 1985 and 2006.
All the men and women taking part completed questionnaires about their jobs, workload, deadlines and freedom to make decisions. None had suffered a heart attack before providing the details, according to the Daily Mail.
Over an average follow-up period of 7.5 years, researchers recorded 2,356 cases of heart disease. These included hospital admissions due to heart attacks and deaths from coronary failure. Kivimaki said job stress may account for a “notable proportion” of heart problems in the working population.
He said that stress reduction would have a much smaller impact than tackling either lack of exercise or smoking, which had a negative effect 10 times greater.