United States.- Having a job stress, high blood pressure and poor sleep can be a recipe for early death, the German researchers.
In a study of nearly 2,000 employees with hypertension followed for almost 18 years, those who reported how stressful work as they slept poorly were three times more likely to die from heart disease than those who slept well and was hard work, the researchers found.
"Up to 50 percent of adults have hypertension," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
It & # 39 with a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke (stroke), heart failure, kidney disease and premature cardiovascular death, said Fonarow, who was not involved in the new study.
"Some studies have found an association between higher stress in the workplace and the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events. worsening of sleep is also associated with an increased risk, "he said. But these associations do not prove cause-and-effect relationship.
In the new study, researchers reported that people with hypertension (or high blood pressure), which had a stress at work were twice the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, as well as people who just reported sleeping poorly.
According to lead researcher Dr. Karl-Heinz Ladwig, «sleep should be a moment of rest, relaxation and restore energy levels. If you have job stress, sleep helps restore »Ladwig with & # 39;. Is a professor of environmental health of the German Research Center for Environment, as well as working at the Technical University of Munich.
Unfortunately, poor sleep and work stress often go hand in hand, and in combination with hypertension, the effect is even more toxic
According to the authors, a stressful job, where employees have a lot of requirements, but little control over their work. For example, a business that demands results, but it denies the right to make decisions.
"If you have high expectations, but also a high control, that is, can take decisions, it could even be positive for health," said Ladwig. "But the pressure is trapped in a situation that does not have the right to change harmful."
Poor sleep was defined as having difficulty falling asleep and sleeping. "Staying asleep with & # 39 is the most common problem in people with stressful jobs," said Ladwig.
These problems are aggravated with the passage of time and energy consuming, and "can lead to an early death," he added.
Ladwig proposed to reduce the risk of premature death, people keep blood pressure under control, to develop good sleep habits and find ways to manage stress.
Mika Kivimaki, professor of social epidemiology at University College London, believes that this study provides a unique observation of risk in the workplace.
Most previous studies on stress in the workplace in its working population as a whole, he said.
"The health consequences have been relatively modest. However, recent evidence suggests that stress can be much greater for those who have pre-existing condition problem. The new study supports this idea, "Kivimaki said, who was not involved in the study,
Focus on people with hypertension was a good choice, he said.
"In this group, atherosclerosis [el endurecimiento de las arterias] Usually, "said Kivimaki. For these patients, "response to stress may lead to increased electrical instability of the heart, the destruction of plaque and thrombus formation [coágulos]"What can contribute to an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), heart attack and stroke.
Researchers believe that the company can help implement programs to teach employees to relax.
Companies should offer stress management and treatment for sleeping on the job, said Ladwig, especially for employees with chronic diseases, such as hypertension. Such programs should also include assistance to employees to quit smoking.
It is well known that people with hypertension can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke to achieve and maintain a healthy blood pressure level, Fonarow said. If workplace programs designed to reduce stress and improve sleep, they will or not, remains to be seen, he said.
The report appears in the issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, April 28.