17 September 2012
A large European study has shown that having a highly demanding job, but little control over it, could be a deadly combination. A report published in the Lancet medical journal showed a link between a stressful workplace and an increased risk of a heart attack.
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Too much work, too little time and no freedom to make decisions can lead to a form of stress known as job strain. It can appear in any profession, but is more common in lower skilled jobs which can combine tough workloads and little responsibility.
The analysis looked at data from nearly two hundred thousand people in thirteen European countries. It found that those in high strain jobs were twenty three per cent more likely to have had a heart attack or to have died from coronary heart disease. However, smoking, not exercising or having an unhealthy diet all have a much greater impact on the heart.
Agencies, such as the British Heart Foundation, said stress at work was often unavoidable, but people in high stress jobs could target risks to their heart in other areas of their lives.
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power or right to act
amounts of work expected to be done
- the analysis
the research or study
- coronary heart disease
the narrowing or blockage of the arteries and vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the heart
cannot be prevented