Women with High Job Strain Have 40% Increased Risk of Heart Disease
"Job strain" is a form of psychological stress that's defined as having a demanding job with minimal decision-making authority or opportunity to leverage individual or creative talents. Yeah, we've been there, it sucks.
Well according to new research from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, job strain is bad for your heart. Compared to women who reported low job strain, those with high job strain had a 40 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, ischemic strokes and needing to open blocked arteries.
The fear of losing your job was also associated with other cardiovascular disease risk factors: fun things like high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and excess body weight. It's kinda funny how blood pressure is only slightly niggling for many...but weight gain? Prospective weight gain makes people want to put on their business socks and get this under control.
The researchers also noted that women in jobs with high demands but who also have a high sense of control over their work are also at an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
Michelle Albert, M.D., the study's senior author stressed the importance of monitoring employees' perceived job strain and initiating "programs to alleviate job strain and perhaps positively impact prevention of heart disease."
We all dream of adopting the French work mentality with its two hour lunches and two month vacations, and now, it seems, our lives depend on a little joie de corporate. Too bad for us that every office has a workaholic who stays for 12 hours and ruins it for all of us.
American Heart Association (2010, November 14). Women with high job strain have 40 percent increased risk of heart disease. EurekAlert!
Retrieved from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-11/aha-wwh110310.php