High stress job = a stroke ?

By Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

It’s not uncommon  to our thinking and it’s now proven true that the stress of a job can result in more than just the headache.  There is a higher likelihood if your a women that you will become a victim of a stroke in a high stress job.

“People with high stress jobs were 58 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke) than those with low stress jobs” is the take home message from a recent study in the journal , Neurology.

It’s important to understand the definition of a “high stress” job. High stress jobs have two components, a high demand and low control. This would include jobs in the service industry such as waitresses and nursing aides. Those with control are not at an elevated risk…..so being a professional even with the high demands as long as your in charge does not put you at higher risk.

There are many options to reduce your stress and risk. Attitude toward the situation and moving forward to allow for advancement toward a more “in control” situation are two moves to be considered.

Want to evaluate and change ? Consider a consultation and review of your lifestyle at the Center. We use an accurate measure of how your brains functioning under the stress and then can map out a plan to improve…..   541.773.3191

High Stress Jobs May be Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

Thu, 10/15/2015 – 9:26am

Bevin Fletcher, Associate Editor

(Image: Shutterstock)

New research found there may be a link between high stress jobs and an increased risk for stroke.

The study, published Oct. 14 in Neurology, found women with high stress jobs had a 33 percent higher risk of stroke than those with low stress jobs.

Researchers led by Dingli Xu, M.D., Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, analyzed all of the available research on job strain and risk stroke.  The team analyzed six studies, comprised of a total of 138,782 participants who were followed for three to 17 years. 

Study author Yuli Huang, also from Southern Medical University, told Bioscience Technology that interestingly, the difference of risk of stroke in men are not statistically significant. “The harmful effect of work stress may be more significant in women,” Huang said. “As high stress jobs may lead to more unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise, it is of vital importance for subjects with high stress occupations to be attune to it.”

Participants’ jobs fell into one of four categories, based on how much control workers had over their jobs and how hard they worked, or psychological demands of the job.  Time pressure, mental load, and coordination burdens were included in job demands.

“Job strain was measured with questions from the validated job-content questionnaire and demand-control questionnaire, which were included in the baseline self-report questionnaire of all studies,” Huang told Bioscience Technology.

The four job groups consist of passive jobs, low-stress jobs, high-stress jobs, and active jobs.

Passive jobs, such as janitors, miners, and other manual laborers were those with low demand and low control.  Low stress jobs included natural scientists and architects, and were those with low demand and high control.  High stress jobs are considered high demand and low control, and include jobs in the service industry such as waitresses and nursing aides.  Finally, active jobs are those with high demand and high control, such as doctors, teachers and engineers.

The percentage of participants in the six studies with high stress jobs ranged from 11 to 27 percent.

Participants in active and passive jobs did not have any increased risk of stroke.

People with high stress jobs were 58 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke) than those with low stress jobs. 

“Based on this study, it is reasonable to consider testing interventions aimed at increasing job control, such as decentralization of decision-making and flexibility in job structure, such as telecommuting. If effective, such workplace changes could have a major public health impact,” said Jennifer J. Majerski, M.D., M.S., at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who wrote a corresponding editorial.

Limitations of the study include that job stress was measured at only one point in time and certain factors, such as high blood pressure, were not adequately adjusted for in the original studies. 

Up next, Huang said: “First, we think further studies are needed to evaluate whether job stress directly increases the risk of stroke or whether other concurrent risk factors are responsible for the increased risk observed. Second, whether psychotherapy methods coping with work stress will be of help in prevention of stroke is needed to be tested in random controlled trials.”

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.