Heart Attack Risk Linked With Stress At Work

Heart attack risk has been the subject of several recent studies, and a new one may be of interest for you if you work in a high-stress environment — static at work has been linked again to higher heart attack risk in a study.

Heart attack risk and job stress have been linked for some time, but the new study takes a larger look at cardiovascular risk and stress at work — in a time when Americans are often working harder than ever, and during a period of high unemployment where skilled replacements and looming layoffs are both a prominent worry for many Americans.

Job stress and heart attack link have long been something cardiovascular doctors have considered interlinked, study lead author Mika Kivimaki of University College London explains, but the new research has put a finer point on the connection:

“The [theory] that work stress influences heart health is more than 30 years old … [But] the pooling of published and unpublished studies allowed us to investigate [this] with greater precision than has been previously possible.”

heart attack risk shift work

The new heart attack risk research was published in medical journal The Lancet, and looked at the results of 13 previous studies examining job stress and heart attack risk. Good Morning America quotes Dr. Redford Williams, director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke University Medical Center. Williams said that heart attack risk linked to job stress is an issue we can work on to affect change and ultimately improve mortality rates:

“I think this is an area where changing the job situation may not be something that we have that much control over … It may be in the long run that [we need] an alternative approach, rather than changing the work environment, that might focus on workers, try to train them in coping skills.”

In the interim, experts recommend that those with stressful jobs or career mitigate heart attack risk by adopting an overall healthy lifestyle.