(RxWiki News) Factors like diet and exercise affect cardiovascular health. But where you work might also affect heart health.
A recent report identified several groups of people younger than 55 who were more likely to have a history of heart disease or stroke.
Smokers, past and present, were at greater risk than nonsmokers. And those working in blue-collar jobs or the service industry were at greater risk than those in white-collar jobs.
"Ask your cardiologist about stroke risk factors."
The study, led by Sara Luckhaupt, MD, of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimated how many adults younger than 55 had a history of heart disease or stroke.
The researchers analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey from 2008 to 2012, including more than 54,000 adults.
The survey revealed that 2 percent of adults under 55 had a history of coronary heart disease, and 1 percent had a history of stroke.
Among employed adults, 1.9 percent of had a history of heart disease or stroke, compared to 2.5 percent of unemployed adults who were seeking a job.
In addition, 6.3 percent of adults under 55 who were not in the workforce had a history of heart disease or stroke. Those not in the workforce included homemakers, students, retired persons (under 55), disabled adults and those who were unemployed but had stopped looking for work.
The researchers divided occupations into four categories: white collar, service, blue collar and farm.
Those who worked in service were about 50 percent more likely to have had heart disease or stroke, and those in blue-collar jobs were 40 percent more likely than those in white-collar jobs.
The researchers also identified two occupational fields in which workers were more likely to have had a stroke or heart disease. Those fields included hospitality and food service and "administrative and support and waste management and remediation services." The second category includes people working in travel agencies, security services, building and apartment services and business support services.
Other risk factors emerged for these two conditions. Current and former smokers were more likely to have had heart disease or a stroke than those who had never smoked.
Women were also at lower risk for both conditions than men, and those with a college degree had a lower risk than those with less education. Also, risk increased as age increased.
The researchers pointed out that occupational stress among blue-collar workers may contribute to risk because of shift work, exposure to polluted air, noise and secondhand smoke.
The CDC published the report Aug. 1 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The authors reported no conflicts of interest.