High Stress Jobs Can Actually End With Brain Stroke, Suggests New Research


Have you ever played this new game on Internet called “Guess how will you die?” and laughed over the funny answers? But, scientists have taken it really seriously and revealed how you will die if you have a job that is causing you too much mental tension. A new study conducted by researchers from the Department of Cardiology at the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China has recently reported that people who suffer from too much work-stress and mental tension are most likely to suffer from brain stroke.

Researchers looked at the data of 6 previous studies that analysed the relationship between high job stress and health risks and revealed that people who had high stress jobs showed stroke risk 22% higher than those with low stress positions. For this study researcher grouped 14,000 employees based on the stress levels in their job.  The researchers specifically noted that women showed much higher (33%) risk of suffering stroke due to high job stress. High job stress was defined as time pressure, mental demands and coordination burdens. Physical labour and total number of hours worked were not included.

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is obstructed. During a stroke, the brain does not receive enough oxygen or nutrients, causing brain cells to die. Ischemic stroke occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain get blocked. Work-stress has been reported to increase the risk of ischemic stroke. In the study the researchers found that people with high work-stress were 58% more likely to have an ischemic stroke.

Scientists are not sure about the biological mechanism for this association; however some experts blame high levels of cortisol in the blood. High work-stress causes increase in production of stress hormones in the body that stay elevated for long periods of time. Cortisol is known to cause inflammation in the body which has been positively linked to heart diseases. Other reasons could be unhealthy stress management habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption or even consumption of calories rich fatty food.  Why do people reach for sugary foods when under stress?

Experts therefore suggest having more stress management policies at work, these may include giving flexible work hours, letting people take decisions in their tasks, reducing pressure from supervisor, etc.

Why do people with best jobs report being extremely stressed? What are you doing to manage your stress?

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