Stress on the Job Significantly Boosts Heart Disease Risk
It’s easy to understand that a diet filled with trans-fat laden fried foods, sugary sweets and hormone and antibiotic laden meats is a recipe for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Less understood, though, is the concept that our environment and lifestyle contribute equally to risk for developing many potentially deadly illnesses, especially the number one killer in the US, heart disease.
Stress reduction could lower coronary disease risks
Researchers from the University of London reporting in The Lancet reveal that if you have a very stressful job and are not given the freedom to make decisions, your chances of experiencing a heart attack are 23 percent higher compared to people of similar age whose jobs are less stressful. The lead study author, Dr. Mika Kivimaki commented, “Our findings indicate that job strain is associated with a small, but consistent, increased risk of experiencing a first CHD event such as a heart attack.”
A prior study from the Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women in highly stressful jobs are 40 percent more likely to suffer from heart and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, ischemic stroke and blocked arteries, than other females of the same age. In the study, researchers analyzed the lifestyle of 10,000 civil servant workers from 2008 to establish the link between job stress and heart disease.
Healthy Diet Coupled with Reduction of Environmental Pollutants and Stress Factors Improve Health Outcomes
To conduct the analysis, researchers compared thirteen existing European studies covering nearly 200,000 people and found ‘job strain’ was linked to a 23 percent increased risk of heart attacks and deaths from coronary heart disease. The scientists found that while work in any type of job can contribute to job stress, the most serious incidence of detrimental stress was found with lower skill workers, as opposed to more skilled professionals with decision making responsibilities.
Researchers determined that while job stress plays a critical part in determining cardiovascular disease risk, it does not contribute as significantly as smoking or lack of regular exercise. The study team concluded, “Job strain is a measure of only part of a psychosocially damaging work environment, which implies that prevention of workplace stress could reduce incidence of coronary heart disease…exposures such as job insecurity and factors related to social capital and emotions, are likely to be of major importance in the future.” The study highlights the critical importance of following a healthy lifestyle and avoiding home and work stressors to lower heart disease risk.
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John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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