Stress at work, like feeling strained in your job or not feeling rewarded for your efforts, can up the chances of getting heart disease.
Researchers don't know much about how these stresses together affect heart disease risk, so this study checked how job strain and effort-reward imbalance impact heart disease in office workers in Quebec, Canada.
About 6,465 office workers, without heart problems initially and around 45 years old on average, were tracked for 18 years (from 2000 to 2018). Researchers used surveys to measure job strain and effort-reward imbalance. Heart disease cases were checked using medical records.
They ran some calculations to see how these stresses affected the chance of getting heart disease, considering differences between men and women.
For blokes, facing either job strain or effort-reward imbalance led to almost a 50% higher risk of heart disease. But when both were there, the risk shot up by over 100%. Even after excluding early cases and checking until retirement, these links stayed the same.
Among women, the results weren't clear – it wasn't obvious if these work stresses directly impacted their heart disease risk.
The researchers concluded dealing with work stress early may help lower the risk of heart disease for men. But more investigation is required to understand how work stress affects women's heart health.
Access the full study here