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Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease Vary Considerably by Occupation, Study Finds

Jun 12, 2017

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Risk factors for cardiovascular disease “vary considerably” by occupation, says a new study by NIOSH and  University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Overall, police and firefighters were most at risk for cardiovascular disease, followed by service occupations (e.g., food preparation, building and groundskeeping, cleaning, hairsyling), and sales, office and administrative support.

According to NIOSH and UAB, management and professionals were in the best cardiovascular health, followed by healthcare professionals, and arts, entertainment, sports and media workers.

The study analyzed a sample of more than 5,000 U.S. workers aged 45 years and older for blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, blood sugar, physical activity, smoking and diet quality. 

The study found that managers and workers in professional occupations had the “most ideal” cardiovascular health, while workers in service, sales, and office and administrative support had “less ideal” cardiovascular health. Among the four behavioral factors (smoking, physical activity, diet quality and BMI), computer and healthcare support workers had the worst cardiovascular health and the workers in protective services and food preparation and service had the unhealthiest levels of blood sugar, blood cholesterol and blood pressure.

Originally published June 12, 2017.

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