Jobs with highest and lowest heart disease risk revealed

Jobs with highest and lowest heart disease risk revealed

People’s risk of heart disease may differ based on their jobs — workers in service and blue-collar occupations, as well as unemployed people, are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, according to a new report.

Researchers found that people’s risk of heart disease and stroke varies with their industry. Those working in wholesale came in at top of the list, as 2.9 percent of the people in that industry had suffered heart disease or a stroke.

Those working in finance and insurance had the lowest rate of heart disease, at 0.8 percent.

For the study, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at national health surveys conducted between 2008 and 2012 to estimate the rate of heart disease and stroke among adults younger than 55. The researchers also analyzed whether unemployed people or workers in certain industries had different risks compared with their peers.

Among employed people, workers in service and blue-collar occupations were more likely than those in white-collar occupations to report having had heart disease or a stroke.

However, heart disease risk also depends on people’s age and gender. When the researchers adjusted their results based on those factors, they found the rate of heart disease and stroke was highest among people in two industries: One is called Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, and it includes people working in business support services and security services, as well as landscape services and waste management. The other category is called Accommodation and Food Service, which includes people who work in traveler accommodations, restaurants and bars.

Looking at employment status, the researchers found that 1.9 percent of employed people had experienced heart disease or stroke, compared with 2.5 percent of unemployed people who were looking for work, and 6.3 percent of people not in the labor force. That group includes unemployed adults who have stopped looking for work, homemakers, students, retired people and people with disabilities.

Cardiovascular diseases account for one in three deaths every year in the United States. Most of these deaths are caused by stroke or the most common type of heart disease, called coronary artery disease, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels. That condition can progress and lead to a heart attack.

Risk factors for heart disease range from having medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, to lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and physical activity. Work-related risk factors for heart disease and stroke include noise, job stress, secondhand smoke and doing shift work, according to the CDC.

To address work-related factors contributing to heart disease risk, the CDC launched a program called the Total Worker Health in 2011. It aims to control occupational risk factors, such as job stress, while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

People who have jobs in industries with higher rates of heart disease might especially benefit from an employer-sponsored Total Worker Health program, the researchers said.

It’s not clear why people’s jobs are linked to their heart disease risk, but certain characteristics of jobs may come into play. For example, workers employed in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services have reported higher rates of job insecurity than all other workers, the researchers said. Job insecurity is a common cause of stress.

Source: fox news

Active seniors can lower heart attack risk by doing more, not less

Active elderly people go hill walking in the Trossachs National Park, Scotland. Image shot 04/2010. Exact date unknown.

Maintaining or boosting your physical activity after age 65 can improve your heart’s electrical well-being and lower your risk of heart attack, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

In heart monitor recordings taken over five years, researchers found that people who walked more and faster and had more physically active leisure time had fewer irregular heart rhythms and greater heart rate variability than those who were less active.

Heart rate variability is differences in the time between one heartbeat and the next during everyday life.

“These small differences are influenced by the health of the heart and the nervous system that regulates the heart,” said Luisa Soares-Miranda, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto in Portugal. “Early abnormalities in this system are picked up by changes in heart rate variability, and these changes predict the risk of future heart attacks and death.”

The researchers evaluated 24-hour heart monitor recordings of 985 adults (average age 71 at baseline) participating in the community-based Cardiovascular Health Study, a large study of heart disease risk factors in people 65 and older.

During the study, they found:

The more physical activity people engaged in, the better their heart rate variability.
Participants who increased their walking distance or pace during the five years had better heart rate variability than those who reduced how much or how fast they walked.
“Any physical activity is better than none, but maintaining or increasing your activity has added heart benefits as you age,” Soares-Miranda said. “Our results also suggest that these certain beneficial changes that occur may be reduced when physical activity is reduced.”

The researchers calculated that the difference between the highest and lowest levels of physical activity would translate into an estimated 11 percent lower risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

“So if you feel comfortable with your usual physical activity, do not slow down as you get older — try to walk an extra block or walk at a faster pace,” Soares-Miranda said. “If you’re not physically active, it is never too late to start.”

Co-authors are Jacob Sattelmair, Ph.D.; Paulo Chaves, M.D., Ph.D.; Glen Duncan, Ph.D.; David S. Siscovick, M.D., M.P.H.; Phyllis K. Stein, Ph.D.; and Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute on Aging funded the research.

Source: News room

Teen fitness is linked to reduced risk of myocardial infarction

If teenage boys were asked to choose between exercising and playing computer games, the majority would choose computer games. But new research suggests adolescent boys should be more physically active, as low fitness levels may increase their risk of having a heart attack later in life.

This is according to a study published in the European Heart Journal.

A research team from Sweden, led by Prof. Peter Nordström, of Umeå University, analyzed data of 743,498 men. All men were a part of the Swedish armed forces between 1969 and 1984, and underwent a medical examination when they were 18-years-old.

The medical examination involved measuring the participants’ blood pressure, weight, height and muscle strength.

It also measured their aerobic fitness through a cycle test. Cycling resistance was increased by 25 watts a minute until the participants’ were too exhausted to carry on. Their maximum wattage was used for the study.

The research team divided the participants’ results into five groups, ranging from the lowest levels of aerobic fitness to the highest.

All men were followed for an average of 34 years until either the date of death, the date of their first heart attack, or until January 1 2011.

During the follow-up period, there were 7,575 incidences of myocardial infarctions – the equivalent to approximately 1,222 heart attacks per 100,000 men.

High aerobic fitness linked to lower heart attack risk
On comparing aerobic fitness with the participants’ risk of heart attack, the researchers found that men in the lowest aerobic fitness group were 2.1 times more likely to suffer a heart attack later in life compared with men in the highest aerobic fitness group.

The results also revealed that for every 15% increase in aerobic fitness, the men were 18% less likely to have a heart attack. This was after taking factors such as body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic background into consideration.

Furthermore, the investigators found that men who carried out regular cardiovascular training in late adolescence reduced their risk of heart attack later in life by 35%.

Results dependent on BMI
To analyze how BMI and aerobic fitness combined had an impact on the participants’ risk of heart attack, the researchers separated the men into four groups in line with the World Health Organization’s definitions of BMI.

These were:

Underweight/lean (BMI less than 18.5kg/m2)
Normal weight (BMI between 18.5-25kg/m2)
Overweight (BMI between 25-30kg/m2)
Obese (BMI over 30kg/m2)
Results revealed that the fittest obese men had almost double the risk of heart attack compared with men who were lean but the most unfit. Furthermore, the fittest obese men had almost four times the risk of heart attack compared with the fittest lean men.

Commenting on their findings, Prof. Nordström says:

“Our findings suggest that high aerobic fitness in late adolescence may reduce the risk of heart attack later in life.

However, being very fit does not appear to fully compensate for being overweight or obese in respect to this risk. Our study suggests that it’s more important not to be overweight or obese than to be fit, but that it’s even better to be both fit and a normal weight.”

He notes that further research is needed to determine how these findings are clinically relevant, “but given the strong association that we have found,” he adds, “the low cost and easy accessibility of cardiovascular training, and the role of heart disease as a major cause of illness and death worldwide, these results are important with respect to public health.”

Source: Medical news today