MALAGA, Spain, May 19 (UPI) -- Work-related stress is linked to increased blood fat levels, which in turn increases cardiovascular risk, researchers in Spain say.
Carlos Catalina, clinical psychologist and an expert in work-related stress at the Sociedad de Prevencion de Ibermutuamur, in collaboration with experts from the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital at Malaga and the Santiago de Compostela University, analyzed the relationship between job stress and fatty acid metabolism.
The study involved 90,000 workers who had medical check-ups.
"The workers who stated that they had experienced difficulties in dealing with their job during the previous 12 months -- 8.7 percent -- had a higher risk of suffering from dyslipidemia -- a lipoproteins' metabolic disorder that can manifest itself in an increase in total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, the "bad," cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in addition to a drop in high-density lipoproteins, the "good" cholesterol," Catalina said in a statement.
The study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, found workers with job stress were more likely to suffer from abnormally high levels of LDL cholesterol, excessively low levels of HDL cholesterol and positive atherogenic indices -- potential artery blockage.
"One of the mechanisms that could explain the relationship between stress and cardiovascular risk could be the changes in our lipid profile, which means higher rates of atheromatous plaque accumulation -- lipids deposit -- in our arteries," Catalina said.