Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Font Size

Job Stress Jacks Up Blood Pressure

Even After Work and While Asleep, Stressful Jobs Boost Blood Pressure
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 10, 2007 -- At work, after work -- even during sleep -- stressful jobs jack up workers' blood pressure, a Belgian study finds.

It's not a huge increase -- but it's enough to confer a substantial risk of heart disease, find Els Clays, MSc, of Ghent University in Belgium, and colleagues.

As part of the Belgian Job Stress Project, the researchers strapped blood pressure monitors to the arms of 89 middle-aged men and women found to have particularly stressful jobs. Another 89 men and women not experiencing job stress also volunteered for the study.

After adjusting for other factors that affect blood pressure -- sex, age, weight, physical job demands, high stress outside work, and physical activity -- the high-job-stress men and women had higher blood pressure.

Their blood pressure was highest on the job, when they had 5.9/3.0 mm Hg higher blood pressure than the nonstressed workers did. But the stressed-out workers also had higher blood pressure while at home, including while they were sleeping.

Clays and colleagues say the main factor behind work-related stress is something they call "high job strain."

This happens when a person is exposed to "high psychological demands" in combination with low job control. Study data suggest that it is the "low job control" aspect of job strain that most affects blood pressure.

The findings appear in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
heart healthy living
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
Compressed heart
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
Heart Foods Slideshow
Low Blood Pressure

WebMD Special Sections