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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Job Strain Has Modest Effect on Heart Disease Risk


Change jobs and quit your bitching.
Job strain is associated with a small but consistent increased risk of coronary heart disease, according to new research [1]. The study pooled published and unpublished data to generate a cohort of almost 200 000 people, and this "allowed us to investigate the association between CHD and job strain with greater precision than has previously been possible," say Dr Mika Kivimäki (University College London, UK) and colleagues in their paper published online September 13, 2012 in the Lancet.

Kivimäki told heartwire that more than 30 years of research on workplace stress and its link with heart disease have produced mixed results, with some studies finding up to a ninefold increased risk while others found no association. Also, there has been the issue of whether there is a particular subgroup of people who are more adversely affected, he says.

"This study is more than twice the size of the most recent meta-analysis published on this topic; the magnitude is different. Our finding is that there is an effect of job strain, and although it's fairly modest, it's very robust. In addition, we don't see any subgroups that are more vulnerable than any other."

He stressed that it is still not known whether the relationship between job strain and heart disease is causal. But assuming it is, the risk associated with work stress is still "substantially less" than that for other known risk factors for CHD, such as smoking, abdominal obesity, and inactivity, he noted.
Time to break out the Soma.

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