A recent study in China revealed that people with high-stress jobs have increased risks of going into a stroke, especially if the job limits self-management. For women, the risk is even higher.
Researchers analyzed six previous studies from different countries which included almost 140,000 respondents whose medical conditions were monitored for up to 17 years. In the United States, stroke accounts for one in 20 deaths nationwide.
In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers from the department of cardiology at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou found that people who worked under highly-stressful situations had a 22 percent higher risk of stroke than those who do not. Meanwhile, women had a 33 percent chance of going into a stroke.
"Many mechanisms may be involved in the association between high-stress jobs and the risk of stroke," said Dr. Yuli Huang, one of the researchers for the study.
Huang explained that people with high-stress jobs would often lead an unhealthy lifestyle with lack of exercise, poor eating habits and smoking. The doctor also said that it was vital for people to address these health issues.
The researchers examined studies from the U.S., Sweden, Japan and Finland. They grouped professions into four classifications such as high-stress jobs, active jobs, passive jobs and low-stress jobs, which were all based on the mental demands and requirements of the job and how much control workers had over it. They also took into account factors such as time pressure and coordination burdens, but they did not include physical work and total number of working hours.
The study said that manual laborers such as miners and janitors were included under the category of passive jobs because they had little control of their job and little demand. Architects and scientists were categorized under low-stress jobs because they had high control but low demand.
Meanwhile, service industry workers such as nursing aides and waitresses were categorized under high-stress jobs because they had low control and high demand. Doctors, engineers, and teachers were under the category of active jobs because they both had high control and demand.
The study found that workers under the category of high-stress jobs had 58 percent more risk of going into an ischemic stroke which happens when blood begins to clot in the brain. Those who worked under the other job categories had no increased risk of stroke.
Huang said that the study had limitations. Original studies only assessed the aspects of stress during working once, and factors like high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure were not included.
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