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Stressful job can increase asthma risk

health and fitness Updated: May 27, 2010 18:45 IST

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OfficeBeing part of a stressful job can increase a person's risk of developing asthma by 40 percent, reveals a new study.

The research led by Heidelberg University in Germany tracked 5,000 men and women aged between 40 and 65 over eight years. They found that among those free of asthma at the start of the project, there was up to a 40 percent higher incidence of asthma eight years later if they suffered stress at work.

The signs were long working hours, demanding schedules and uncomfortable working conditions.

"Our study suggests work stress and the inability to relax after work are associated with an increased risk of asthma," quoted the report as saying.

Earlier studies have shown stress can lead to the release of chemicals that promote allergies and disrupt the way the body halts inflammation of the airways.

However, the team stressed that the absolute risk of someone developing asthma because they are overloaded at work is still very small.