Sept. 20, 2023 -- Job-related stress increases men’s risk for heart disease, according to a new report from the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Stress already is known to harm physical and psychological well-being. Work stressors include heavy workloads, tight deadlines, and lack of autonomy.
Men who had job strain or an imbalance between effort and reward were 49% more likely to have heart disease than men who did not, the authors concluded.
"Effort-reward imbalance occurs when employees invest high effort into their work, but they perceive the rewards they receive in return — such as salary, recognition or job security — as insufficient or unequal to the effort," said the study’s lead author, Mathilde Lavigne-Robichaud, a doctoral candidate in population health at CHU de Quebec-University Laval Research Center, said in statement to CBS News.
Men in both job predicaments were twice as likely to have heart disease compared with men who did not experience the two stressors simultaneously, CBS reported.
The health impact of job strain and effort-reward imbalance are about the same as the impact of obesity on the risk of coronary heart disease, the study reports.
"Considering the significant amount of time people spend at work, understanding the relationship between work stressors and cardiovascular health is crucial for public health and workforce well-being," Lavigne-Robichaud said. "Our study highlights the pressing need to proactively address stressful working conditions, to create healthier work environments that benefit employees and employers."
Researchers tracked more than 6,400 people in white-collar jobs in Canada from 2000 to 2018. The participants did not have cardiovascular disease. Their average age was 45. Their job strain and effort-reward imbalance were compared to their rates of heart disease. The results for women were not conclusive.