Wheat field
You’d think working for the post office or the DMV would raise your risk of heart disease and stroke – that and your risk of shooting up the place or mailing a letter bomb – but no, a new study says people working in the food service and farm industry are the ones who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Writing in the journal Diabetes Care, experts found workers in the United States, individuals in the farm industry and food service, excluding waiters and waitresses, had a 30% risk of metabolic syndrome, compared to the overall U.S. risk of 22% from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Metabolic syndrome is the collection of conditions that contribute to heart disease; including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

But why these workers have an increased risk of heart disease is unclear, researchers did not consider possible health factors, such as smoking, sleep habits, obesity, and race, so the scientists can’t say that certain jobs right away raise your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Previous studies have shown farm workers exposed to pesticides have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and blood disorders.

On the flip side, this new research found workers like writers, artists, entertainers, and athletes had a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, roughly 8% to 9%. And healthcare professionals, like as doctors and nurses, had a 12% risk.

I wonder what the risk of mental illness for writers is, because I’m nuts.

Image credit: tpmartins