Employment stress leads to diabetes and heart disease

Mon, 23 Jan 2006
Work-related stress has been identified as a key risk in the development of heart disease and diabetes. Although the relationship had been established before, a new study provides biological evidence that links the conditions.

Researchers closely investigated that link between stress at work and the indicators of metabolic syndrome (the indicator of diabetes referred to as pre-diabetes or syndrome X). Their study group comprised over 10,000 British civil servants, and took place over a 14 year period.

On four occasions, stress at work was measured (between 1985 and 1999). Between 1997 and 1999 the major indicators of metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels etc.) were measured. Also considered were health factors such as diet, smoking, drinking and poor exercise.

Suffering from chronic work stress was found to significantly increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome even when considered in light of further health factors, in both men and women.

Members of the study group who occupied lower grades of employment were also shown to be more likely to have the syndrome, linking it with a social gradient. Furthermore, a bad diet, smoking, heavy drinking and poor exercise routine all increased the odds of developing the syndrome.
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