High-Stress Jobs Linked to Increased Stroke Risk

Especially among women.

Most Popular
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Work stress may be linked to an increased risk of stroke, particularly among women, according to October 2015 research published in Neurology. People working in high-stress jobs had a 22 percent higher risk of stroke than people in jobs with low stress. For women, the risk climbed to 33 percent.

Even more worrisome, researchers found that people in high-stress jobs were 58 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke — the most common type — than those with low-stress jobs.

Most Popular

A stroke occurs when blood flow is cut off from an area of the brain. About 800,000 people experience a stroke every year in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. Put another way, that means a stroke happens every 40 seconds in this country. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death among women and the fifth-leading cause of death among men.

The Neurology research is based on data collected from nearly 140,000 people across six different studies that looked at job stress and stroke risk. What's interesting is how the researchers classified jobs: High-stress jobs, they said, come with high psychological job demand and little power or control over the job itself. This category included people in the service industry, such as servers and nurses' aides. Low-stress jobs, they explained, have low psychological demand and lots of control. Natural scientists and architects fit this description, according to the researchers. 

The researchers found that 4.4 percent of the increased risk is due to the high-stress job itself (6.5 percent in women). What else contributes to the increased risk isn't clear, but the researchers have some guesses.

"It's possible that high-stress jobs lead to more unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise," said Dingli Xu, MD, with Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, in a statement. 

More from Dr Oz The Good Life:
paralyzed dad cole thomas walks again
Conditions
Share
Just Seven Months After a Car Accident Paralyzed Him, This Dad Learned to Walk Again
jessica-melore-chemo-treatment
Conditions
Share
After a Heart Attack, Heart Transplant, Leg Amputation, and Two Bouts of Lymphoma, I Didn't Think I Had Anything Left to Lose — I Was Wrong
husband's sweet gesture for wife with cancer
Conditions
Share
This Emotional Photo of a Husband Supporting His Wife With Cancer Will Melt Your Heart
birth control, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis
Conditions
Share
Birth Control Almost Killed Me at Age 23
bob harper on "the dr. oz show"
Conditions
Share
Bob Harper Opens Up to Dr. Oz About His Emotional Recovery Following His Heart Attack
schizophrenia hallucination drawings
Conditions
Share
This Girl's 'Hallucination Art' Is a Haunting Look at What It's Like to Have Schizophrenia
polycystic ovary syndrome diet
Conditions
Share
How to Change Your Diet and Exercise Routine If You Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
bachelor lesley murphy
Conditions
Share
This 'Bachelor' Star Has Been Documenting Her Double Mastectomy on Instagram
hasbro pets for dementia patients
Conditions
Share
The Strange Thing You're Going to Start Seeing at Nursing Homes
entire family battling illnesses
Conditions
Share
This Mom, Her New Baby, and Her Father Are All Battling Life-Threatening Illnesses Together