Some jobs harder on the heart than others, report finds

August 1, 2014 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Some jobs harder on the heart than others, report finds
But having to search for work may be just as stressful, unhealthy, researchers add.

(HealthDay)—Stress at work may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if you work in the service industry or have a blue-collar job, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

But being unemployed might be just as unhealthy, they added.

"Workplace factors that increase risk include job stress, exposure to air pollution—like dust and secondhand smoke—and noise," explained lead researcher Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"These workers would benefit from that combine reducing occupational like job stress with promotion activities like smoking cessation," she said.

Some workers may already have other risk factors for stroke and , such as and cholesterol, which can be made worse by workplace stresses, Luckhaupt explained. In fact, the researchers found that 1.9 percent of workers under 55 reported a history of and stroke.

"It's probably a combination of personal and work factors," she said.

"Don't forget the job factors," Luckhaupt said. "The noise, the air pollution and job stress could be contributing to the personal risk factors, like difficulty quitting smoking."

Unemployed workers, however, weren't spared, she noted. Among unemployed people looking for work, the rate of heart attack and stroke was also high—2.5 percent.

"It may be that the stress of unemployment and the lack of access to health care may be contributing to their health problems," she said.

However, whether these workers have health problems because they are unemployed or if they are unemployed because of isn't known, Luckhaupt said. While the report found an association between employment stress and heart health, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

For the study, published in the Aug 1 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the researchers compiled data from the 2008-2012 National Health Interview Survey.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, "There is increasing interest in workplace-based disease prevention, health promotion and wellness programs as a means of improving health."

As heart disease and stroke remain the leading causes of death in men and women in the United States, prevention strategies and workplace health programs are essential, he said.

"Health professionals, employers and workers should take proactive steps to improve their heart health, implement and take advantage of comprehensive workplace wellness programs and better utilize effective interventions to prevent heart disease and stroke," he said.

Explore further: More Americans working to control blood pressure, cholesterol

More information: Visit the American Heart Association for more on stress and heart health.

Related Stories

More Americans working to control blood pressure, cholesterol

May 29, 2014
(HealthDay)—Although more Americans are trying to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, more needs to be done to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes in the United States, government health officials ...

Hispanic Americans need culturally tailored heart care

July 14, 2014
A first-time comprehensive overview of cardiovascular disease among Hispanics in the U.S. outlines the burden of heart disease and stroke as well as emphasizes the importance of culturally appropriate healthcare for this ...

High stress, hostility, depression linked with increased stroke risk

July 10, 2014
Higher levels of stress, hostility and depressive symptoms are associated with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in middle-age and older adults, according to new research in the American ...

Many U.S. workers sleep-Deprived: CDC

April 26, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Many American workers get fewer than six hours of sleep each night, putting themselves and their co-workers at risk for serious and sometimes deadly consequences, federal health officials said Thursday.

Many at-risk heart disease patients lack guidance on beneficial aspirin treatment

July 15, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A daily low dose of aspirin can offer important protection against cardiovascular disease, but University of Florida researchers say that the people who could receive the most benefit from the medication ...

Stroke prevention for women: start early

June 17, 2014
(HealthDay)—Stroke typically affects women in their later years, but doctors are now beginning to focus on helping them cut their risk earlier in life.

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.