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Not complaining "bad for the heart"

Not complaining about unfair treatment at work results in men having double the risk of dying from heart disease, according to the Stress Research Unit at Stockholm University in Sweden.

Its report, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, says that "covert coping", or bottling things up, greatly increases the chance of suffering poor health.

Covert copers were asked specifically what methods they adopted to deal with conflict at work, either with superiors or colleagues.

They were grouped according to whether they let things pass, walked away, suffered head or stomach aches or were bad-tempered at home.

The research found that covert copers have double the risk of heart attack and of dying from heart disease as those who tackled issue head on.

Other research shows that covert coping is related to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and a protein linked to high cholesterol.

As far as women are concerned, they suffer too few heart attacks for any conclusions to be drawn.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health