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Doctor’s warning – don’t work too hard, or work out too hard

On Wednesday the papers were full of warnings that work-related stress was putting more Brits in hospital. Today the doom and gloom deepens, as a new study finds that job stress raises the risk of heart attack by 23 per cent.

A meta-analysis published in the Lancet analysed 13 previous studies covering nearly 200,000 people – from civil servants to factory workers - in seven European countries.

Researchers found that those most at risk of heart attack were employees with a high work load but little power to make decisions – those who are, in the words of the Daily Mail, ‘bossed around at work'. 

Professor Mika Kivimaki, who led the study at UCL, said: ‘Our findings indicate that job strain is associated with a small but consistent increased risk of experiencing a first coronary heart disease event, such as a heart attack.'

However, job stress does not outweigh other lifestyle risks, as he also told the BBC: ‘We know smokers with job strain are more likely to smoke a bit more, active people with job strain are more likely to become inactive and there is a link with obesity.

‘If one has high stress at work you can still reduce risk by keeping a healthy lifestyle.'

More bad news from another meta-analysis: type 2 diabetes raises the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women by more than a quarter, reports the Telegraph.

Researchers at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon analysed 40 separate studies covering 56,000 breast cancer cases and found that the risk of the disease was 27 per cent higher in post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes than in those without.

However, the link is still far from clear. Professor Peter Boyle, who led the study, said: ‘We don't yet know the mechanisms behind why type 2 diabetes might increase the risk of breast cancer.

‘On the one hand, it's thought that being overweight, often associated with type 2 diabetes, and the effect this has on hormone activity may be partly responsible for the processes that lead to cancer growth.

‘But it's also impossible to rule out that some factors related to diabetes may be involved in the process.'

But if all these health risks have you heading for the treadmill, think again. The Daily Mail carries the dire warning that exercising at home caused £2.1billion worth of damage last year.

The paper cautions ‘Britons who are thinking of getting fit after being inspired by the Olympics not to get carried away'. It cites a study by the insurer Esure that found that 26 per cent of people who had exercised at home had caused at least £200 of damage to themselves or their property.

Accidents, apparently, included crashing into furniture and TVs and tripping over rugs, children and pets. Best head to the gym, then – for Whiskers' sake.