Job stress contributes — albeit modestly — to coronary risk, according to a Lancet meta-analysis.
Researchers examined 13 European cohort studies conducted between 1985 and 2006 and comprising almost 200,000 people. About 15% reported job strain — the combination of high demands and low control in their work lives. By a mean follow-up of nearly 8 years, the presence of job strain at the start of the study was associated with an increased risk for coronary disease, relative to no job strain (age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.23).
The authors estimate that roughly 3% of the coronary events in this population were attributable to job strain — a proportion much smaller than that attributed to smoking (36%), abdominal obesity (20%), and physical inactivity (12%) in previous research.