Employees who are bullied or exposed to violence at work may be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who don’t face these challenges at work, according to a new European study.
Researchers studied more than 79,000 working men and women from Sweden and Denmark between ages 18 and 65 with no history of heart disease. Among these, nine percent reported being bullied at work; 13 percent said they had been exposed to workplace violence in the past year. 3,229 cases of heart disease were recorded in a follow-up period of 12 years, Human Resources magazine reports.
The study found that people who were bullied at work were 59 percent more likely to develop heart disease or related diseases. Employees exposed to workplace violence were 25 percent more likely to develop heart disease or related diseases.
The research found that social workers (more than 29 percent of participants), healthcare professionals (more than 25 percent) and teaching professionals (more than 16 percent) had the highest exposure to workplace violence. In these cases, 91 percent of perpetrators were from outside the organization, and only 9 percent were from inside (colleagues, supervisors, subordinates).
Regarding workplace bullying, 79 percent of bullies were colleagues, supervisors or subordinates, and 21 percent were clients.