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Stress does not Cause Cancer: Study

Feb 11, 2013 07:30 AM EST

Good news for those people who are stressed with their hectic work style.  A recent study from states that there is no association between stressful jobs and the development of cancer.

Work-related stress does not activate any of the four common types of cancer i.e., breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer, states the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London, which conducted the study.  

A physiological factor such as stress cannot cause cancer. Almost 90 percent of the cancers are triggered due to environmental exposures such as UV radiation and tobacco smoke.

But what stress can generate is chronic inflammation, which plays an active role in the development of cancer.

In order to prove that stress is unlikely to cause cancer, a meta analysis was conducted by IPD-Work Consortium along with Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London. The study involved around 116,000 subjects belonging to the age group 17-70.

With the help of 'job strain', they measured the psychological stress at work. Job strain as divided into four categories. 'High strain job' meant high demands and low control, 'active job' meant high demands and high control, 'passive job' meant low demands and low control and 'low strain job' meant low demands and high control. 

The researchers considered various factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic position, BMI, smoking and alcohol intake. They collected the data on cancer from national cancer or death registries and hospitalization registries.

They noticed that 5 percent of the participants developed some form of cancer in the average 12 year follow-up. But they could not trace any association between job strain and cancer.

Reducing stress can improve the well-being but will not have a severe impact such as cancer.

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