(HealthDay News) — Exposure to high-strain jobs is associated with an increased risk of stroke, especially in women, according to a meta-analysis published online October 14 in Neurology.

Yuli Huang, MD, PhD, from Southern Medical University in China, and colleagues conducted a literature search to identify prospective cohort studies with data on job strain and the risk of stroke.

Based upon six prospective cohort studies (138,782 participants), the researchers found that high-strain jobs were associated with increased risk of stroke (relative risk [RR], 1.22) compared with low-strain jobs. For ischemic stroke the result was more pronounced (RR, 1.58). While the risk of stroke was significant in women (RR, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.69) and nonsignificant in men (RR, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.69–2.27), the difference in RRs in sex subgroups was not significant.

“Further studies are needed to confirm whether interventions to reduce work stress decrease the risk of stroke,” conclude the authors.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)