Stroke is one of the leading causes of death globally, and the acute event is characterized by weakness, slurred speech and confusion and can leave a person tragically disabled.
A new study highlights a single lifestyle habit that can have detrimental repercussions on cardiovascular health, significantly increasing the risk of stroke.
While most of the risk factors for the condition are relatively modifiable, occupational stress must also be managed efficiently to prevent its occurrence. Work stress is a toxic combination of stress, poor eating habits, inactivity and lack of sleep, all of which have an impact on overall health. Inflexible work schedules combined with demands can be one of the root causes of a series of health complications in women, including stroke.
Studies have shown that work stress over long periods of time can lead to a fatal heart attack or stroke or lead to chronic disease.
It is believed that occupational stress can damage our hearts by overstimulating them chronically, causing the body to remain “on” for longer periods than necessary.
This type of response releases adrenaline and increases stress hormones, particularly cortisol, which have been found to damage heart tissue.
A new study conducted in Switzerland sheds light on how harmful occupational anxiety can be to the body.
Study authors Martin Hansel and Dr Susan Wegner said: ‘Our study found that men were more likely to smoke and be obese than women, but females reported greater increases in non-traditional risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, such as work stress, sleep disturbances and fatigue.
This increase coincides with the number of women working full time. Reconciling work and domestic responsibilities or other social and cultural aspects may be a factor, as well as women’s specific health requirements that may not be taken into account in our ‘busy daily lives’.
Wegener emphasized that the most modifiable factors for cardiovascular disease are diabetes, arterial hypertension, increased cholesterol, smoking, obesity and physical activity.
The researchers hope that non-traditional risk factors such as work stress will be recognized as cardiovascular risks, to aid in preventive measures.
“The data show that there is a wide range of reported cardiovascular risk factors, which go beyond the officially recognized medical factors of societal stress, and will better aid in strategies to prevent heart attacks and strokes,” she said.