Those in the service industry, including waitresses and nursing aides, who have high work demand and less control over their jobs are much more stressed than natural scientists and architects who command more respect and enjoy higher control over their jobs. Researchers have now revealed that people with high stress jobs have a 22% higher risk of stroke than those with low stress jobs.
Senior study author Dingli Xu from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, said, "It is possible that high stress jobs lead to more unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise."
Researchers analyzed six studies involving a total of 138,782 participants who were followed for three to 17 years. Jobs were classified into four groups depending on how much control workers had over their jobs and how hard they worked, or the psychological demands of the job. The job demands included time pressure, mental load and coordination burdens, while physical labor and total number of hours worked were not included.
Researchers also found that women with high stress jobs were more vulnerable to stroke than men with high stress jobs. They calculated that 4.4% of the stroke risk was due to the high stress jobs. For women, that number increased to 6.5%.
The study appeared online in Neurology.