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Poll finds health most common major stressful event in Americans' lives last year
Date:7/8/2014

High levels of stress in the last month

About a quarter reported having a "great deal" of stress (26%) over just the past month. People in poor health are more than twice as likely as the public as a whole to report a great deal of stress in the past month (60%).

People who are disabled are also much more likely to report a great deal of stress (45%). Other groups likely to report a great deal of stress include those with a chronic illness (36%), those with low incomes (<$20K) (36%), those who face potentially dangerous situations in their jobs (36%), single parents (35%), and parents of teens (34%).

Significant impact on lives

Bad effects on emotional well-being (63%) are the most common health effect reported by those with a great deal of stress in the last month, followed by problems with sleep (56%) and difficulty in thinking, concentrating, or making decisions (50%). About half of those with a great deal of stress as well as a chronic illness or disability say stress made the symptoms worse (53%) or made it harder for them to manage their chronic illness or disability (52%).

In addition, many report significant impacts from stress in other spheres of their lives. More than four in ten of those under a great deal of stress in the last month report that this stress made it harder to get along with family members (45%) and prevented them from spending time with family members (44%). Half of those who experienced a great deal of stress in the last month and are employed say stress made it harder to concentrate at work (51%), and 41% say it made it harder to take on extra responsibilities that could help advance their career.

Efforts to manage high levels of stress

Those who have experienced a great deal of stress over the past month tried to reduce their stress in many ways. Most who had experienced a great deal of stress in the last month and taken steps to manage it say eac
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Contact: Marge Dwyer
mhdwyer@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8416
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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