Deadline pressure raises risk of heart attacks

Dec 20 2004 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Rushing to meet a high-pressure deadline can hugely increase a workerís chances of having a heart attack.

A medical study has concluded that in the 24 hours following striving to meet a high-pressure deadline the risk of suffering a heart attack can be six times greater.

Short-term intense stress has a greater impact on the heart than a gradual build-up of tension, the Swedish researchers concluded.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , looked at the number of first-time heart attacks in healthy people aged 45-70 during the 1990s.

Men who had experienced a conflict at work in the preceding 12 months were 80 per cent more likely to have a heart attack. The risk was even greater if they had been strongly affected by it.

A change in financial circumstances tripled the risk of a heart attack among women.

Being given increased responsibilities at work, particularly if it was something you did not really want in the first place, could also contribute to having a heart attack, with women three times and men six times more likely to suffer an attack.