UCL News


UCL in the News: Stressful jobs 'a risk to heart'

23 January 2008

Channel 4 News A study of more than 10,000 Westminster civil servants uncovered the strongest evidence yet of the way stress can cause coronary heart disease (CHD).

It found that 32% of the effect of stress on CHD was down to eating badly and a lack of exercise. …

The overall study, which has been running since 1985, is led by Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology and public health at UCL. His team found that young people seemed to be particularly affected by chronic work stress.

Dr Tarani Chandola [UCL Population Health], first author on the paper, said: "Stress at work is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease but the mechanisms underlying this association have remained unclear until now.

"During 12 years of follow-up, we found that chronic work stress was associated with CHD and this association was stronger among both men and women aged under 50 - their risk of CHD was an average of 68% more than for people who reported no stress at work.

"Among people of retirement age (and therefore less likely to be exposed to work stress), the effect on CHD was less strong."