Work stress can even lead to mortality over time

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Some simple lifestyle changes and balance can help in overcoming this condition

New Delhi, 7th June 2018: According to a recently published study, job stress can be detrimental to life. This is particularly true in case of men who work in a demanding environment with little control over their workload even if they maintain a healthy lifestyle. Such men have a 68% greater risk of premature death as per the study. Work is a common source of stress in adulthood, triggering natural stress responses.
While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance, impact your physical and emotional health, and affect your relationships and home life. It can even mean the difference between success and failure on the job.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body’s internal systems. Stressed workers also eat unhealthy food, smoke, drink and skip exercise – all behaviors linked to heart disease. They have lowered heart rate variability – a sign of a poorly–functioning weak heart – and higher–than–normal levels of cortisol, a ‘stress’ hormone that provides a burst of energy for a fight–or–flight response. Too much cortisol circulating in the blood stream can damage blood vessels and the heart. Conflicting priorities between work and home have a negative effect on mental health and have been linked to some substance-abuse issues.”

Some signs and symptoms of excessive workplace stress include anxiety, irritability, depression, loss of interest, insomnia and other sleep disorders, fatigue, trouble concentrating, muscle tension or headaches, stomach problems, social withdrawal, loss of sex drive, and substance abuse.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “While lifestyle changes and balancing are important, another aspect to this is learning from Lord Ganesha, who can be termed as the stress management guru. If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management. We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.”
Some tips from HCFI to manage workplace stress.
• Form positive relationships and take your colleagues into confidence when you feel a task is getting out of hand.
• Start your day by eating a healthy and filling breakfast. This will not only help you concentrate but also ensure that you stay away from stress.
• Get enough sleep and do not let work seep in to your sleep time. Make sure you go to sleep around the same time every day.
• Get about 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This will release endorphins, feel-good hormones that can help uplift your mood.
• Prioritize and organize your work. This will ensure that you avoid any backlogs that can spill on to your leisure time.

WHO Priority Diseases: SARS

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus. SARS was first reported from the Guangdong Province in China in 2002. Labelled as the first pandemic of the 21st century, SARS spread to 29 countries with more than more than 8000 cases.

Since 2003, SARS has reappeared on four counts: Three times from lab accidents (Singapore and Chinese Taipei), and once in southern China where the source of infection remains undetermined although there is circumstantial evidence of animal-to-human transmission (WHO).

SARS is caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).
Animals eaten as exotic foods in southern China, particularly the palm civet, may be intermediate hosts.
Transmission: Humans acquire the infection from close person-to-person contact via droplet spread. The virus may also spread via contaminated surfaces or objects. Lack of or inadequate infection control precautions facilitate spread of the virus. Transmission mainly occurs during the 2nd week of illness, when the excretion of the virus in respiratory secretions and stool is at its peak.
The incubation period for SARS is 2-7 days.
Clinical presentation: A patient with SARS presents as a prodrome of high fever (>100.4°F), malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhea, shivering followed by respiratory symptoms – cough (dry, nonproductive cough), shortness of breath. Chest x-ray may show lesion suggestive of pneumonia. Severe disease may progress to respiratory distress necessitating intensive care.
Patients are most contagious during the 2nd week of illness
Diagnosis: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or antibody detection (IgG and IgM) via ELISA (Enzyme-linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) or IFA (Immunofluorescence Assay) or virus isolation in cell cultures. Specimens include blood, stool, respiratory secretions or body tissues. A negative PCR does not exclude SARS. The samples may not have been collected at a time when the virus or its genetic material was present. PCR test must be done at the earliest and repeated if symptoms persist.
Management: Supportive care with antipyretics, oxygen supplementation (mechanical ventilation when indicated), isolation of patient, strict barrier nursing and infection control practices including personal protective equipment when in close contact with the patient. Antiviral drugs or steroids are not recommended.
(Source: WHO, CDC, Uptodate)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA