In an International Journal of Cancer study of data on more than 280,000 people from North America and Europe, work stress was associated with a significantly increased risk of colorectal, esophagus, and lung cancers.
When looking more closely at the data, investigators observed a link between work stress and colorectal cancer in North America, but not in Europe. By contrast, a significant association between work stress and esophagus cancer was found in Europe, but not in North America. In addition, there was no association between work stress and the risk of prostate, breast, or ovarian cancers.
"There are several biological mechanisms whereby stress in work may lead to cancer," the authors wrote.