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Work Stress More Likely Lead to Higher Depression Risk!

Posted Aug 24 2008 5:46pm

Work work, and work! This is the reality. Whether you like it or not, many of us just have to face it. Long hours of work pressure will make people feel chronically stressed, and that is how they are at a higher risk of depression.



The researchers from the University of Rochester Medical School in New York reported in the American Journal of Public Health in October 2008 that among more than 24,000 working Canadian adults, nearly 5 percent had suffered from major depression in the past year, and those under heavy stress at work appeared to be at particular risk.



In fact, a number of studies have previously found that health risks were associated with chronic job stress, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression. Nevertheless, the depression studies have been limited to either certain occupations or single company.



The researchers went a step further on depression studies by confirming and extending past research, and looked at a large and general population. They also used stricter criteria to gauge participants’ depression. While past studies have relied on questionnaire responses, participants in the current study underwent diagnostic interviews for depression.



The study found that men who reported “high job strain” were more than twice as likely to suffer depression as men who were low on the job-strain scale. “High job strain” is defined as work that is demanding but leaves people little independence or decision-making authority.



The findings on women were not quite the same. Only one component of job strain (lack of decision-making authority) was related to depression. Rationale behind this is unclear but it is suspected that it may be due to the types of jobs many women take.



As compared with men, women are more likely to take part-time jobs to balance work and family. Similarity did exist. For both men and women, lack of support from co-workers and supervisors, which is a measure of job stress, was related to depression.



As pointed out in the findings, depression prevention in workplace is necessary for the sake of workers. Researchers also suggested some ways to relieve job stress, for example, workers are offered opportunities for training in new skills.
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