New Swedish research shows that men with pent-up frustrations about
perceived workplace injustices run twice the risk of suffering a heart
Those who express their feelings openly, for example by getting angry, have
no increased risk of heart problems, said the study which warned of the
dangers of "covert coping."
"Covert coping is strongly related to increased risk of hard-endpoint
cardiovascular disease," said the study, published in the UK in the Journal
of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The research, led by experts at the Stress Research Unit at Stockholm
University, grouped men according to how they react to conflict, including
by saying nothing, walking away, or taking their anger out at home later.
Men who sometimes or always walked away from conflict had three times the
risk of a heart attack or dying from heart disease, while overall those who
avoided conflict had twice as high a risk.
In contrast those who reacted to unfair treatment in an open way, such as
talking directly to the person with whom they were in conflict or getting
angry, had no increased risk of heart attack, it said.
"We all find different things stressful and symptoms of stress can vary,"
said Judy O'Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation,
responding to the study.
"But the important thing is that we need to find ways of coping with it in
our lives in a positive way, whether at work or home," she added.
The average age of the more than 2,700 participants was 41 at the start of
the study. None had had a heart attack when screening started in 1992. But
by 2003, 47 had suffered a heart attack or died from heart disease.
Source : AFP/The Local