According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the most stressful jobs are psychologically demanding but give employees little control over the work situation.
The study found that being stressed at work was associated with a 48 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation, after adjustment for age, sex, and education.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia).
Symptoms include palpitations, weakness, fatigue, feeling light-headed, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Atrial fibrillation causes 20-30 percent of all strokes and increases the risk of dying prematurely.
“We need people to do these jobs but employers can help by making sure staff have the resources required to complete the assigned tasks,” said Eleonor Fransson, study author and associate professor of epidemiology, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden.
“Bosses should schedule breaks and listen to employees’ ideas on how the work itself and the work environment can be improved.”
In conclusion, Fransson said: “Work stress has previously been linked with coronary heart disease.
“Work stress should be considered a modifiable risk factor for preventing atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease.
“People who feel stressed at work and have palpitations or other symptoms of atrial fibrillation should see their doctor and speak to their employer about improving the situation at work.”