Research links workplace stress to high blood pressure

Chronic job stress can raise blood pressure among white-collar workers, Canadian research has revealed.

High job demands, tight deadlines and poor support in the workplace appeared to be triggers, particularly in men.

A team at Laval University in Quebec, studied more than 6,700 workers over the course of seven years.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for a number of serious medical illnesses, including stroke and heart attacks.

Dr Chantal Guimont, who carried out the study, said: “Our study supports the hypothesis that job strain, particularly in workers with low social support at work, may contribute to increased blood pressure.”

The study suggested that employers might be able to help by giving workers more support and control over deadlines and tasks.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that each case of stress-related ill health leads to an average of 30.9 working days lost.

Studies are under way to see whether employers can alleviate the problem, Dr Guimont told the American Journal of Public Health.

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