Workplace stress linked to heart disease

Stressful jobs are significantly increasing younger employees\' chances of coronary heart disease, according to a study reported in the European Heart Journal.

The report, which analysed the health of more than 10,000 British civil servants, found that those under 50 who said their work was stressful were 70 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than those who were stress-free.

The research comes as Canada Life Group Insurance (CLGI) publishes figures that show mental health problems were the biggest cause of group income protection (GIP) claims in the UK in 2007. The provider says 32 per cent of the GIP claims it processed in 2007 were as a result of mental health issues across illnesses, including stress, depression and anxiety.

Marion Ware, head of marketing at CLGI, says: “This research highlights that mental health issues are becoming an area of increasing importance, which employers must monitor if they are to effectively demonstrate their duty of care to their employees. The UK has some of the longest working hours in Europe, and stress levels amongst workers have soared in recent years.

“Stress is known to lead to further mental health issues, so it is important to do as much as possible to do as much as possible to prevent such situations arising.”