Blue-Collar Jobs Can Be Hard On The Heart: Study

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By Smitha Nambiar | August 6, 2014 10:40 AM EST

Stress filled jobs, such as service industry and blue collar jobs can increase the risk of heart attack and other heart ailments, said U.S. health officials and researchers at Harvard.

As per a study conducted by a few researchers at Harvard, people with blue-collar jobs are 40 per cent more likely to suffer and die from a heart attack or stroke than others. Extreme stress at work is being cited as one of the reasons why people with blue-collar jobs suffer from heart ailments the most. "Workplace factors that increase risk include job stress, exposure to air pollution - like dust and secondhand smoke and noise," said Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, lead researcher, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Luckhaupt added that blue-collar workers would benefit greatly from "health programs that combine reducing occupational risk factors like job stress with health promotion activities like smoking cessation."job

Reuters
Scientists carry out biological pacemaker research at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, California, in this undated handout photo courtesy of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers, according to a study published on July 16, 2014.

Researchers at Harvard conducted a study on 568 married white men in the age group of 30 and 70, living in Dade and Broward counties in Florida, before they suffered and died from a fatal heart attack. They were compared with living men and women of the same age group and who lived in the same area. In regards to the findings of the study, Dr. Julie Buring, leader of the five-member Harvard medical team said, "Blue-collar workers may be more likely to have diets high in saturated fats or cholesterol."

Another study published in the Aug 1 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report collected information from the 2008-2012 National Health Interview Survey. Stating that there is an increased understanding of work-related illnesses among people, Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, "Health professionals, employers and workers should take proactive steps to improve their heart health, implement and take advantage of comprehensive workplace wellness programs and better utilize effective interventions to prevent heart disease and stroke."

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(Photo: Reuters / Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute)
Scientists carry out biological pacemaker research at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, California, in this undated handout photo courtesy of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers, according to a study published on July 16, 2014.
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