Working in a stressful job is associated with a doubling of the risk
of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a new study by researchers
in Finland (BMJ. 2002;325:857-860).
The investigators followed 812 employees (545 men and 267 women) of
a company in the metal industry in Finland for an average of 25 years. Subjects
were free from cardiovascular disease at baseline.
The researchers gathered baseline data on biological risks (blood pressure,
cholesterol levels, body mass index), as well as information about each participant's
job (to gauge how stressful the job was). Each participant was asked about
work demands (such as degree of responsibility and task difficulty), job control
(such as authority over decisions), effort at work (such as physical and mental
load and pace of work), and rewards (such as satisfaction with income and
fairness of supervision). Biological risks were measured at 5- and 10-year
Stephenson J. Atomic Bomb Survivors. JAMA. 2002;288(18):2257. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2257