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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Work stress can kill

23rd January 2008

A major study has indicated that a stressful job has a direct biological impact on the body.


The research focused on more than 10,000 civil servants in the UK and found that those under the age of 50 with stressful jobs were 70% more likely to develop heart disease than those who worked in a less stressful environment.

The findings were reported in the European Heart Journal and are from a study of a range of Whitehall workers from the highest civil servants through to administrative staff, following them from the mid-1980s.

The study monitored heart rate; blood pressure; noted diet, exercise, smoking and drinking habits of workers; and also inquired about how they felt about their work.

It also measured the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. That was compared with the numbers of had developed coronary heart disease (CHD) or suffered a heart attack and how many had died of it.

Dr Tarani Chandola of University College London who led the research said: “We did not find strong evidence that the effect of work stress on heart disease is worse for those in lower grades - the effect of stress was pretty much the same across different grades.?

The study found that those with stressful jobs appeared less likely to eat enough fruit and vegetables and were less likely to exercise.

The researchers now believe they understand the biological mechanisms that link stress and disease, with stress appearing to upset the part of the nervous system which controls the heart.


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