A new study suggests workplace stress may be as hazardous to your heart health as smoking, high cholesterol and other conventional risk factors for cardiovascular disease


Maybe this will finally convince some of the “I can take anything work can throw at me—and so should you” brigade that macho posturing about uncivilized hours and work amounts in the workplace isn’t such a bright idea.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (Job Strain Can Be Risk Factor For Subsequent Heart Attacks), people working in high-stress jobs are just over twice as likely as those in low-stress posts to suffer a heart attack or be hospitalized for angina, which often is a precursor to a heart attack.

“It is a very important effect,” said Michel Vezina, a researcher at Universite Laval in Quebec and a co-author of the study. He deemed it “comparable” to the impact of tobacco smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Prevention efforts should go beyond changing individual living habits to “take into account the work environment,” Dr. Vezina said.

And although senior managers and wannabe high-fliers may believe that they are the only ones who face real job pressure, the heart health may be significantly greater among ordinary people faced with meeting the crazy deadlines and profit targets those same executives impose.

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