Having a bad boss may be harmful for your heart

November 25th, 2008 - 1:36 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 25 (ANI): Having an inconsiderate and incompetent boss not only leads to bad working days, but also increases your risk of developing heart disease, warn Swedish researchers.

The research found a strong link between poor leadership and the risk of serious heart disease and heart attacks among more than 3,000 employed men, the study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found.

And the effect may be cumulative - the risk went up the longer an employee worked for the same company, say researchers.

According to researchers, feeling of under valuation can cause stress, which often fosters unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking, that can lead to heart disease.

In the study, researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University tracked the heart health of the male employees, aged between 19 and 70 and working in the Stockholm area, over a period of nearly a decade.

During this time 74 cases of fatal and non-fatal heart attack or acute angina, or death from ischaemic heart disease, occurred, reports BBC.

All the participants were asked to rate the leadership style of their senior managers on competencies such as how clearly they set out goals for their staff and how good they were at communicating and giving feedback.

The staff who believed their senior managers to be the least competent had a 25 percent higher risk of a serious heart problem. And those working for what was classed as a long time - four years or more - had a 64 percent higher risk.

Cathy Ross, cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, said: “This limited, male-only study suggests that a good, clear working relationship with your manager may help to protect against heart disease.

“Feeling undervalued and unsupported can cause stress, which often leads to unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, eating a poor diet, drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough exercise - adding to your risk of developing heart problems. Being fit and active can give you the double benefit of busting work stress and boosting your heart health at the same time.” (ANI)

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