A statistical update from the American Heart Association (AHA) cites health behaviors such as smoking and tobacco use, physical inactivity, nutrition, and family history and genetics as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. But what about stress? Spanish researchers from the Sociedad de Prevención de Ibermutuamur recently looked into the effect of work-related stress on increased blood fat levels, and consequently, cardiovascular health risk.
This study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, used a sample population of more than 90,000 workers undergoing medical check-ups. What they found was that “workers who stated that they had experienced difficulties in dealing with their job during the previous twelve months (8.7% of the sample) had a higher risk of suffering from dyslipidemia.” Dyslipidemia, a metabolic disorder of lipoproteins, causes plaque accumulation in arteries and could therefore explain the relationship between stress and cardiovascular risk.
This finding suggests that stress management and the promotion of harmonious work environments may play an important role in buffering us against chronic disease.