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Study examines the effects of workplace stress on cancer
Today, more and more people are suffering from the effects of stress at work. Researchers have now found that stress at work significantly increases the likelihood of some types of cancer. These include, for example, stomach and lung cancer.
Quebec University scientists found in an investigation that stress at work increases the risk of cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Preventative Medicine".
Permanent stress at work can lead to cancer
When men work in a stressful job for 15 years, they increase their risk of five different types of cancer. These include, for example, stomach and lung cancer, the authors say. It had previously been determined that stress at work could jeopardize healthy blood pressure. In general, the job insecurity, high workload and time pressure should definitely be considered as a public health problem, the experts explain.
So far, the link between stress and cancer has not been confirmed
Although it has long been known that stress triggers a number of human health problems, research has so far had poor evidence that stress can also cause cancer, the researchers explain. Some studies have already shown a connection between various psychological factors and an increased risk of developing cancer. However, other studies were unable to confirm these results, the scientists report.
Workload and time pressure cause stress in the workplace
The current study attempted to establish a link between stress at work and cancer. To do this, the scientists at Quebec University examined the prevalence of cancer in men with work-related stress. Workload and time pressure were not the only two factors of stress that the participants indicated.
Other reasons for stress at work:
Some of the 3,103 adult volunteers who were diagnosed with cancer also complained about job insecurity, financial problems and customer relationships. Others included, for example, demanding or dangerous working conditions, employee monitoring and interpersonal conflicts, the authors explain.
What cancers cause stress at work?
Significant links between stress at work and gastric, lung, colon and colon cancer have been identified. The occurrence of so-called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was also influenced by the stress that occurred. The health problems identified were diagnosed in men who were exposed to work-related stress for 15 years, the experts say. However, such a connection could not be established if the test subjects were exposed to high pressure at the workplace for less than 15 years.
Stress also leads to cardiovascular diseases
Other studies had previously shown that a stressful life significantly increased the risk of heart disease and stroke. In their study, scientists from the recognized Harvard Medical School discovered that fear and stress are directly related to cardiovascular diseases. The results combine mental well-being with general physical health. For this reason, doctors should pay particular attention to an increased risk of heart attacks when treating people with chronic stress.
More research is needed
Experts believe that people who suffer a lot of stress could tend to smoke, overeat and drink alcohol. For example, firefighters, engineers and mechanics had the most stressed jobs. The association between the psychological stress perceived at work (over the entire professional career) and cancer in men has never been assessed before, explains the study author Dr. Blanc-Lapierre from Quebec University. But the researchers also say that the results don't prove anything yet, and are based on a summary assessment of specific jobs. Further research is needed to make reliable load measurements that take into account all sources. (as)