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In A “Blue Collar” or Service Job? Know Your Heart Disease/Stroke Risk

Author: Richard R. Heuser, M.D., FACC, FACP, FESC, FSCAI

For years, cardiologists have linked stress with heart disease. But newly released data gathered by the National Health Interview Survey from 2008 to 2012 indicates that individuals under the age of 55 who work service jobs and blue collar jobs are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

Stroke & Heart Disease Risk in Service & Blue Collar Jobs

According to the brief published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Service personnel were 53% more likely and blue collar workers were 40% more likely to report a history of [heart disease or stroke] than white collar workers in the same age group” (emphasis added).

Overall prevalence of heart disease or stroke history is 2.2% in service workers and 2.6% in blue collar workers. By comparison, white collar workers in the same age group have a 1.6% prevalence rate; farm workers have a 1.9% prevalence rate.

Two Blue Collar/Service Industries At Highest Risk

The researchers narrowed down their findings to determine workers in two industry groups are at the highest risk:

  1. Accommodation & Food Service (which includes workers in hotels and restaurants)
  2. Administration / Support / Waste Management / Remediation Services (which includes travel agents and workers in security services, building upkeep, landscaping, and waste management)

What Factors Can Explain Increased Heart Disease & Stroke Risk?

In these groups, stroke and heart disease risk may be elevated because of higher rates of job insecurity, more sporadic work shifts, smoking and second hand smoke exposure, and work-related stress.

Whether you work in these industries or not, you can take advantage of these five tips for improving heart health and reducing risk for heart disease and stroke.

At Risk for Heart Disease? Schedule An Appointment

Are you at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke? Take this online heart disease risk assessment to have someone from Phoenix Heart Center contact you. You can schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at our Phoenix, Tempe or East Mesa, AZ location online or by calling 602-234-0004.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.



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