Study links work stress to risk of coronary heart disease

London – Job strain increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease, but not as much as traditional factors such as smoking, finds a new study from the University College London. The study defined “job strain” as a type of stress associated with demanding jobs that offer little control.

Researchers analyzed 13 European cohort studies from 1985 to 2006 that measured job strain with job content and demand-control questionnaires. Of almost 200,000 study participants, approximately 15 percent reported job strain, according to the study abstract. After adjusting for age, gender and socioeconomic status, researchers concluded that stressed workers were 23 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease, the study abstract stated.

Researchers suggested that efforts to prevent job stress might help decrease the risk of developing coronary heart disease, but noted that reducing smoking and other standard risk factors would have a greater impact.

The study was published online Sept. 14 in The Lancet.

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