Work stress can affect younger men with clogged arteries leading to a condition of early atherosclerosis, according to a research published in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. However, women in the same situation do not show any such tendencies, said the study.
The researchers from University of Helsinki in Finland had found increased thickness of the lining of the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the head, in men who reported having low job control and high job strain.
The study included 478 men and 542 women aged 24 to 39 years from a continuing Finnish cardiovascular risk study. Participants were screened for other cardiovascular risks such as smoking, alcohol use, level of physical activity, body mass index and cholesterol levels. Those risks were taken into account along with job stress factors.
Standard questions were used to assess job control.
Although a higher percentage of women (35.6 percent) reported high job strain than men (27.4 percent) overall, men who reported high job strain and demand were 29 percent more likely to have increased thickness of the innermost coating of blood vessels.
Researchers said that not saddling employees with high workloads while providing ample time for them to perform their duties could reduce work strain.