High job stress may increase blood pressure

April 11, 2007 at 9:30 PM
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GHENT, Belgium, April 11 (UPI) -- Workers with high levels of job stress have higher blood pressure than those with less work-related stress, found a Belgian study.

Although blood pressures were highest at work, workers with major job strain also had increased blood pressure while they were at home -- even while sleeping, according to the study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers monitored 89 middle-aged Belgian workers with high job strain and a similar number of workers without high job strain.

On average, blood pressure for the workers reporting the highest stress during the work day was 6.5/3.1 mm Hg higher compared to the workers with less stress, according to study leader Els Clays of Ghent University.

The increases in blood pressure may not seem large on the individual level. But from a public-health perspective, blood-pressure reductions of similar magnitude can lead to substantial reductions in heart-disease risk.

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