Stroke: The lifestyle habit increasing your risk of the life-threatening condition
Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes
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Stroke is uncommon in individuals younger than 40. When it does occur, it is often triggered by abnormally high blood pressure. While most risk factors for the condition are relatively modifiable, occupational stress must also be managed efficiently to prevent an incident. Work pressure is a toxic combination of stress, poor eating habits, inactivity and poor sleep, which each take their toll on overall health. Inflexible work schedules coupled with demanding could be one of the root causes for a litany of health complications in women, including stroke.
Studies have shown that work pressure experienced over long periods of time could precipitate a fatal heart attack, stroke, or prompt chronic illness.
It is believed that occupational stress could harm our heart by chronically overstimulating it, causing the body to remain in fight or flight mode over longer periods than necessary.
This type of response triggers the secretion of adrenaline and raises stress hormones, notably cortisol, all of which have been found to damage the tissue of the heart.
A new study conducted in Switzerland has highlighted just how detrimental occupational anxiety may be for the body.
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Study authors doctor Martin Hänsel, and Doctor Susanne Wegener, said: “Our study found men were more likely to smoke and be obese than women, but females reported a bigger increase in the non-traditional risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, such as work stress, sleep disorders, and feeling tired and fatigued.”
“This increase coincides with the number of women working full time. Juggling work and domestic responsibilities or other socio-cultural aspects may be a factor, as well as specific health demands of women that may not be accounted for in our daily ‘busy lives’.
“We found an overall increase in non-traditional risk factors in both sexes, but these were more pronounced in female participants, while most traditional cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors remained stable.
“These results underscore the fact that sex differences exist for non-traditional CVD risk factors with an alarming trend towards a particular increase in women.”
Doctor Wegener reiterated that the most modifiable factors for cardiovascular diseases are diabetes, arterial hypertension, raise cholesterol, smoking, obesity and physical activity.
Researchers hope that non-traditional risk factors such as work pressure will be recognised as a cardiovascular risk, to help inform preventative measures.
She explained: “The data shows that there are a wide range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease reported and these extend beyond the medical ones officially recognised to societal pressures and will help better inform prevention strategies for heart attacks and strokes.
“Traditionally men have been perceived more affected by heart attacks and strokes the women, but in some countries, women have overtaken men.
“There is a gender gap and further researcher is needed to find out why.”
A recent study of workers in the UK, conducted by the World Health Organisation, said that long working hours were linked with a higher risk of fatal heart disease and stroke.
Findings published in the Journal Environmental International suggested that working 55 hours or more is linked to a 35 percent higher risk of stroke and 17 percent greater risk of fatal heart disease, compared with individuals working between 35 and 40 hours each week.
The study is one of many to highlight the strain of demanding work on cardiovascular health.
Researchers found up to 398,000 deaths from stroke and 347,000 death from heart disease could be attributed to working more than 55 hours a week.
According to figures released by the UK Health and Safety Executive, most than half of sick days in Britain are caused by work-related stress.
Occupational works are characterised by feeling excessively tired, devoid of energy, demoralised and irritable.
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