A new study has some bad news for people who work high stress jobs.
Beware if you have a stressful job: a stroke could be on the horizon, a new study has found.
Nearly a quarter of jobs are considered “high strain,” and a study found that they have an increased risk of stroke compared to other jobs, according to a Reuters report.
The study, conducted by researchers at Southern Medical University in China, included 140,000 people, finding that those with high stress jobs had a 22 percent higher risk of having a stroke, with some jobs elevating the risk by as much as 58 percent.
It’s not the first time scientists have linked stress to poor heart health, but this study is on a very wide scale and puts some hard numbers on the risks for certain jobs. It uses an established formula to identify heart problems in certain high stress jobs, which are defined as those with high demands and very little control on decision-making.
The participants were followed for a period of between three and 17 years. They observed what jobs they were in and classified those jobs according to time pressure, mental load, and control.
Passive jobs like janitors and other manual laborers had low control, but they also had low demands. Other jobs include a high degree of control and have low demand, meaning they are considered low stress jobs. More active jobs, like doctors and teachers, have high demand, but they also have a high amount of control. The researchers found that these jobs didn’t seem to show an increased risk of stroke.
However, those who were in the high stress jobs category showed a 22 percent increased risk of stroke, with women suffering a 33 percent increased risk. And the risk of ischemic stroke in both sexes was 58 percent more compared to low strain jobs.