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Job strain increases recurrent heart attack risk

People who return to a chronically stressful job after a heart attack are twice as likely than those with stressfree jobs to experience another coronary heart disease (CHD) event, research shows.

Several studies have shown that job strain increases the risk of a first CHD event, but little was known until now about the association between job strain and recurrent CHD.

A study of 972 men and women aged 35 to 59 years over approximately 6 years found that chronic job strain was associated with double the risk of another CHD event.

This remained the case even after adjusting for potentially confounding sociodemographic, lifestyle and environment factors.

Study authors write in the Journal of American Medical Association that preventative interventions aimed at reducing job strain could have a “significant impact” on reducing recurrent CHD events.

They add: “Although further studies are required to establish optimal interventions, information about the results of this study should be disseminated in cardiac practice and in occupational health services with the aim of reducing job strain for workers returning to works after a heart attack.”