Job Stress And Your Heart
A new study from Sweden has linked stress at work with a 48 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder responsible for 20 to 30 percent of all strokes. The researchers, from Sweden’s Jönköping University, identified the most stressful jobs as those that are psychologically demanding and lacking provisions for control. Examples: secretaries, nurses, assembly line workers, bus drivers. To assess the risk the researchers followed a group of 13,200 adults taking part in a large Swedish occupational health survey. None had a history of atrial fibrillation, heart attack or heart failure. During 5.7 years of follow-up, 145 people in the group developed atrial fibrillation. The researchers determined that individuals with stressful jobs were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation; the risk remained after the team accounted for other possible contributory factors including smoking, leisure time physical activity, body mass, and baseline high blood pressure. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, weakness, fatigue, feeling light headed, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Study leader Eleonor Fransson, an associate professor of epidemiology advised that people who feel stressed at work and have symptoms of atrial fibrillation should see their doctor and speak to their employer about modifying work conditions.
Eleonor Franssen et al, “Job strain and atrial fibrillation – Results from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health and meta-analysis of three studies.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, June 4, 2018. doi.org/10.1177/2047487318777387
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