Work Related Stress
Linked to Heart Disease and Diabetes - British Journal of Medicine
January 20th 2006
Stress at work
Stress at work can lead to a metabolic syndrome that causes heart
disease and diabetes, according to researchers at the University College
London. The exact causes are unclear but there is new evidence for the
“biological plausibility” link between work stress and heart disease.
The researchers looked at 10,308 British civil servants between the ages
of 35 and 55 over a 14 year period. They measured work stress four
times between 1985 and 1999 and they also measured risk factors for the
metabolic syndrome between 1997 and 1999. These risk factors include
obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The researchers also
took into account social position, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption
and lack of exercise.
The researchers found a “dose-response” relation between job stress and
the metabolic syndrome, even after adjusting for the risk factors. Men
with chronic work stress were twice as likely to develop the syndrome as
those with no exposure to the stress. Women were not as likely to
succumb to the syndrome as men, but their risk increased also.
People working at lower employment grades were more likely to get the
syndrome, confirming previous reports. There are some things you can do
to help prevent the metabolic disorder that leads to heart disease and
diabetes. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet will help prevent
the syndrome. Quit smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol
will help. Also keep physically active.
As we begin to understand how stress affects our health, there is a new
industry being created to help us deal with stress. Stress coaches are
being employed in effort to improve health. Experts suggest Deep
breathing, PMR and the 'Relaxation Response' exercises to avoid stress.
Keeping a stress diary may be helpful. Also thought awareness, rational
thinking and positive thinking are other avenues that should be
investigated for keeping stress levels low. .
The study was published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
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