Heart health can depend on job type

Work could be the death of you, as the saying goes—and according to a new study, some occupations have better odds than others.

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that transportation and moving employees as well as community and social services employees were at the highest risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one in three deaths in the United States. In recognition of that fact, the American Heart Association established seven health behaviors in an effort to reduce those odds.

The cardiovascular health metrics are as follows: not smoking, being physically active, having normal blood pressure, having normal glucose levels, being of normal weight, having normal cholesterol levels and eating a healthy diet. Fewer than 2 percent of U.S. adults meet all seven of these standards.

This poor performance is of great consequence to employers who lose an average of $120 billion a year in lost productivity due to complications from cardiovascular disease. As a result, working adults are an important demographic to monitor.

When cross-referencing data on health-related risk behaviors with industry and occupation data, the CDC found that of all workers, only 3.5 percent adhered to all seven cardiovascular health metrics.

Transportation and material moving employees had the highest adjusted prevalence of not ideal scores for physical activity, blood pressure and body mass index, while food preparation and serving employees had the highest prevalence of not ideal scores for smoking.

 While the study is correlative, it does prove that the workplace is a viable and necessary place for caring out cardiovascular health interventions.