Is your job stressing you out? It may cost you down the road in terms of your health. A new study has found that mid-life stress at work equates to more illness in old age.

The study, from researchers at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, found that both physical stress and mental stress were linked to more hospital stays as study participants aged.

"Job strain is something that is individually perceived, so persons working in similar jobs can report different amounts of job strain," said gerontology researcher and lead researcher Mikaela von Bonsdorff. "When talking about job strain, it is important to remember that occasional feelings of job strain are not necessarily a bad thing, but persistent high job strain has been identified as a health hazard."

For the study, researchers compared the national hospital records from the past several decades with health survey information from more than 5,000 middle-aged Finnish public sector employees who were initially surveyed about stress at work in 1981.

Researchers found that the higher the job strain participants felt at mid-life, the greater number of days they spent in the hospital later in life.

"What was interesting was that these associations were clear also when we looked at hospital care that took place after the individuals had turned 65, indicating that these associations were also robust in older age and not that the association was due to hospital care that took place immediately after the baseline assessment of job strain," von Bonsdorff said.

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