Job Stress Health

Monday, November 15, 2010 - 9:31am

A new study shows that high stress jobs can have long-lasting health effects.

The fast track can, over time, take its toll.

New research in women finds a high-stress, demanding job with little to no growth potential can raise the risk of heart problems, including heart attack, stroke, and even early death, by 40%.

Similar links have been shown previously in men.

"Women occupy 50% of the U.S. workforce and there's very little prospective or long-term research looking at job strain and cardiovascular disease risk in women," said dr. Michelle Albert of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Michelle Albert led the study, which followed primarily white female medical health professionals, like doctors and nurses, for a decade.

Just as you'd manage a staff, Dr. Albert says managing stress appropriately could help.

First, figure out how to work some exercise into your schedule.

The benefits of physical activity on the heart have long been proven.

Second, boost your social support system.

"Whether it be through family or friends, uh, to talk about what's going on at your job,” said Albert.

Dr. Albert also suggests her fellow doctors take note, not only for their own health, but also for their patients'.

“I don't typically ask my patients or i haven't been trained to typically ask my patients about their job stress or other stressors in their life," Albert explained.

And it may be a longer, healthier life, if some of those typical work demands can be left at the office.

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