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Heart risk doubles for dissatisfied

London, Oct. 17 (Reuters): Healthy people with stressful jobs who work long hours but get little satisfaction from what they do have twice the risk of dying from heart disease as satisfied employees, according to a study.

Job stress has been known to trigger heart problems in people who already have cardiovascular disease. Now Finnish scientists have shown that even in healthy people the pressures of work can take their toll.

“Work stress seems to be an independent predicator of death for cardiovascular diseases,” Mika Kivimaki, of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said.

Obesity, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, smoking and being overweight contribute to heart disease — a leading killer in many industrialised countries.

But Kivimaki and his colleagues, who studied the medical histories of 812 healthy Finnish men and women in a metal company over 25 years, said job stress also plays an important role. “Even after controlling for the effects of conventional cardiovascular risk factors, high work stress was associated with a doubling of risk of cardiovascular death,” he added.

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