Your job really could be killing you, experts have warned. People aged over 45 are more likely to suffer heart disease and stroke if they work in sales, office support or service occupations, a new study revealed on Wednesday.
Their colleagues in management or peers in professional jobs are less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease-the leading cause of death in the world.
While 88 per cent of workers aged 45 and older did not smoke, and 78 per cent had good blood sugar levels, fewer than 41 per cent had 'ideal cardiovascular health' in five other areas, researchers found. They discovered a wide range of different heart risk, depending on a person's profession.
Researchers studied data relating to 5,566 employed men and women, who did not have a history of heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the study. More than one in five transportation workers (22 per cent) were smokers, the highest smoking rate among all the groups.
Two out of three sales, office and administrative support employees (68 per cent) had poor eating habits, while 69 per cent of sales employees had high cholesterol.
Four out of five office and administrative support workers (82 per cent) didn't do enough physical activity.
People working in the food industry had the worst diet profile-with more than three-quarters (79 per cent) having poor diet quality.
Nine out of 10 police and firefighters (90 per cent) were overweight or obese, while 77 per cent suffered high cholesterol levels and 35 per cent had high blood pressure.
Management and professionals had better cardiovascular health overall than the other categories-a third had ideal weight, 75 per cent were at least moderately active, and just six per cent were smokers.
But, 72 per cent of whitecollar professionals employed in business and finance workers had poor eating habits.
The researchers examined seven modifiable risk factors derived from the American Heart Association's 'Lifes Simple 7'-an action plan for reducing heart disease and stroke risk.
Health in each area was scored as 'ideal', 'intermediate' or 'poor'. Workers earned ideal scores if, without medicines, their blood pressure readings were lower than 120/80 mm Hg; total cholesterol was below 200 mg/dL; and/or blood glucose was lower than 100 mg/dL while fasting or 140 without fasting.
Besides non-smoking status, a body mass index (BMI) below 25 and engaging in intense, break-a-sweat activity four or more times a week, including at work, were also judged ideal.