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Last updated at 13:27 BST, Monday, 17 September 2012

Working could kill us


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.


James Gallagher

work stress, pa

British Heart Foundation said stress at work was often unavoidable.


Click to hear the report


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.


Click to hear the vocabulary



power or right to act


paid occupation


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


concentrate on