Is Your Job Killing You?

Photo (cc) by Alan Cleaver

We’ve said before that job stress is a heart risk. Business and med school researchers at Tel Aviv University recently added more evidence.

CNN reported on their findings, which were published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The study involved 8,838 healthy male and female workers over a 3.5 year period, and it accounted for other factors including family history of heart disease and age.

Lead researcher Sharon Toker said the findings were “alarming and much more extreme than we expected.” When they followed up with participants at the end of the period, there were 93 new cases of coronary heart disease.

Job burnout was associated with a 40 percent increased risk, and the people with the highest burnout levels had a nearly 80 percent increased risk.

The researchers measured burnout with questions like “How often is your thinking process sluggish or your concentration impaired?” and “How often do you feel emotionally detached from coworkers or customers, and unable to respond to their needs?” Multiple responses of “often” or “always” were considered at risk.

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