Link between jobs and heart disease revealed - with managers the healthiest

White-collar workers had some of the worst health 

Middle-aged people who do not work in management positions are more likely to develop heart disease or experience strokes, according to a US study.

Research by the US Government’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that men and women aged 45-years-old or above who had jobs in sales, offices or in the service industries were more at risk than those in managerial or professional roles.

The study involved 5,566 men and women aged over 45-year-olds, who were ranked according to their BMI, level of physical activity, diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and whether they smoked.

The 7-point list compiled by the American Heart Association is called the Life’s Simple 7, and reflects the modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

Workers were highly scored if their blood pressure was lower than 120/80mm Hg; their total cholesterol below 200mg/dL; and or their blood glucose was lower than 100mg/dL while fasting or 140 without, CBS News reported. 

The results showed that those who worked in management or in professional jobs were overall less likely to experience heart disease or strokes, as they had better blood pressure, BMIs and were more likely to exercise and not smoke. 

It also showed that over a fifth of transportation workers smoked – the highest in all of the groups. And two out of three people who worked in office, administrative support and sales roles had poor eating habits, rising to 72 per cent in business and finance workers. Some 60 per cent of the sales workers also had high cholesterol, Mail Online reported, while 82 per cent of office and administrative support workers did not exercise regularly. 

Interestingly, those who work in food industry were found to eat the worst, with 79 per cent having a poor diet. 

Captain Leslie MacDonald, the leader researcher and senior scientists at the US Public Health Service at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health presented the findings at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 meeting, in Phoenix, Arizona, this week.

She said that it was difficult to achieve ideal scores for all seven factors, largely because of an inability to maintain the best diet. 

She added that those who want to improve their health should eat at least 4.5 cups of fruit and vegetables a day; 3.5 ounces of fish twice a week; less than 1,500mg of sodium a day; 450 or fewer calories a week in sugary foods; and at least three servings of whole grains a day.