Work stress and overtime causes strokes? Another Type A myth?

Their was at one time a big myth, supposedly proved by good “research” that Type A personalities get heart attacks, aggressive hard workers with short tempers get what they deserve. Let’s all do Yoga and repeat our mantra to ourselves.

It was debunked.

Here’s a meta analysis with a cumulative cohort of half a million with less than 2000 strokes, and they show an increased risk of about one third for stroke in extra hours workers. Actually they don’t show an increased RISK at all as we know from our studies of observational epidemiological studies they show a higher rate in the experimental side of the study group, the longer hours workers.

The article includes some comments that include a researchers comment that appears to resurrect the debunked type A personality/heart attack linkm, proof that even in the profession the practitioners still carry around myths created by bad science and lots of bias and media repeats.

“Type A personality causes heart attacks” feeds a bias that being aggressive and hard working is bad for you but it really means it is something disapproved. Being laconic, indolent, phlegmatic and lazy is alleged to be good for you by the left, even though they may be just as meddling type A personality types as the people they disapprove.

Of course these are the same know it alls who would promote vigorous exercise? Exercise is selfish and aimed at self improvement and feeling good about one’s health and welfare, whereas work ethic and hard driving effort to accomplish things is the product of capitalist greed and crudity–lack of sophistication and joie de vivre.

Can I imagine people doing research to cofirm their dislike of or bias toward hard workers? You bet. Same reason the political correctness crusade seems to be tilted toward a soft feminine approach and criticism and mocking of manly virtures and characteristics–how crude as compared to me and my tea sippin’ friends.


5 responses to “Work stress and overtime causes strokes? Another Type A myth?

  1. It’s called Karoshi

  2. Working in a habitually high stress sector with regular overtime and impossible deadlines (software development…), I can see no great number of strokes BUT I see a LOT of people suffering from depression, burnout, chronic headaches, neuromuscular disorders in the hands and shoulders, and back problems.

    The fact that I don’t see a lot of strokes may have to do with a lot of people leaving the industry as a result of those other problems and only suffering strokes later, the seeds having been sown during the years they did work in the sector.

    Not a scientific study of course, but everyone working in the trenches for a decade or more has seen it and often experienced it all firsthand.

  3. Doctors are really pushing risk factors a lot, in the last couple of decades. Many adults have had the experience of walking into a doctor’s office with either vague or specific symptoms, only to be asked if they are under a lot of stress at work or home. I’ve sometimes said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that if my big toe fell off, the first thing the doctor would ask me is if I am under a lot of stress at work or home.

  4. Friend went to the doctor complaining of headaches, etc. Dr said it was stress. Turned out to be a brain tumour. By the time he realized it wasn’t stress, it was to late.

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