Reported January 14, 2009
Fukuoka, Japan, January 14: Men in highly
stressful jobs are twice more likely to suffer stroke, as opposed to those
having a lesser stressful job, a new Japanese study warns. Conversely, women
working under the same pressure conditions, as men, do not stand a similar
risk of stroke, it adds.
The 11 year study conducted by the researchers at the Japan’s University of
Occupational and Environmental Health enrolled 6,533 volunteers (3,190 men
and 3,363 women) aged 65 and younger.
Coming from varied occupational backgrounds - managers, professionals,
technicians, clerks, salespeople, craftsmen, farmers and laborers – they
were grouped into 4 categories depending upon the demands of the job and the
amount of control they could exercise.
While the 'low job demand and high job control' combination was ranked as
the least strenuous, the 'high job demand and low job control' was highly
Volunteers were first interviewed between 1992 and 1995 followed by close
monitoring over the course of next 11 years.
During follow-up sessions, 147 strokes were reported - 91 men and 56 women.
After taking into account, factors like age, smoking
status, alcohol consumption and activity regimen – all known to play a
crucial role in stroke – men with 'high strain' jobs were twice more likely
to suffer stroke.
"The job demand-control model is most often used occupational stress model.
It posits that workers who face high psychological demands in their
occupation and have little control over their work (i.e. those who have job
strain) are at a greater risk of becoming ill than the workers with low
psychological demands and a high degree of control in their occupation (i.e.
those with low-strain occupations)", study’s lead author, Dr Akizumi
Tsutsumi, MD, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka,
Although stress has the strongest impact on otherwise healthy workers, women
fared better than men, but intra-sexually they too, like men, were more
bogged by high strain jobs.
While the exact logic explaining the difference between the sexes was not
clear, researchers believe the completely different approach to stressful
jobs could be the driver. Also, more women as compared to men are employed
Source : Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA journal.