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People completed questionnaires about their level of job strain at age 45 then, at age 50, a questionnaire commonly used to indicate signs of common mental illness.

Researchers also accounted for other stress-inducing factors including divorce, financial problems, housing instability, and bereavement or illness.

Results were then adjusted to rule out the effects of factors such as people's personalities, their IQ, level of education, previous mental health problems.

Double the risk if your job is 'high strain'

When compared with a control group, those with high job demands are 70 percent more likely, and people with low job control are 89 percent more likely.

People whose job is classed as 'high strain' have more than double the risk – a 122 percent increase – of developing mental illness in their middle age.

The final results show people with higher job demands, lower job control and higher job strain are more likely to develop mental illness by age 50, regardless of their gender or type of job.

Mental illness the leading cause of time off work

Professor Harvey added: 'Mental illness is the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in Australia, equating to billion lost to Australian businesses each year.

'Our modelling used detailed data collected over 50 years to examine the various ways in which particular work conditions may impact an employee's mental health.

'These findings serve as a wake-up call for the role workplace initiatives should play in our efforts to curb the rising costs of mental disorders.'

Past research shows stress linked to physical illness

Previous research has also shown that high levels of stress at work can increase the risk of heart attacks, and make people more likely to eat unhealthily and sleep and exercise less.

Stress can make people physically ill because it can stimulate white blood cells to react in the same way that illness does and cause the body to react as though it is fighting an infection when it is not.

Pictures: These Therapeutic Podcasts Will Help You De-Stress

a green plant in a garden: In the same way that a sad song can be therapeutic when you're feeling the blues, a good podcast episode that speaks to your struggles can be great chicken soup for the soul.The only problem is, we've been spoiled with choice when it comes to podcasts in the past few years, so finding one that resonates with you can take a lot of patience (and cell phone data).To help you narrow down your choices, we've rounded up a few soothing podcasts that will help you de-stress, or even learn more about yourself and your emotions. While they're not meant to be a substitute for therapy, they'll hopefully help you feel a little less alone. These Therapeutic Podcasts Will Help You De-Stress
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Over the coming decade, NASA should develop and implement new methods and requirements to detect and eliminate microorganisms on robotic spacecraft sent to Mars to prevent possible contamination of the planet, says a new ...

NASA study will help stop stowaways to Mars

August 29, 2007 .

How does Nigeria's sold out kit rate against the classics?

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    Scientists have identified many new genes associated with better thinking skills following a major worldwide study.

    They also found 42 genome-wide loci linked to reaction time, 40 of which are new to science.

    Scientists have identified new genes associated with cleverness in a study that may help to explain why certain people have better cognitive function.

    The study is said to be the largest genetic study of cognitive function and as a result, they have identified some genetic variations between the persons who wear glasses and un-wearers on the thinking capacity.

    Scientists think so. They say that people who wear glasses may be more intelligent than those who don't.


    Analyzing the genetic data, scientists found that 148 genome-wide regions associated with a general cognitive function, including 58 genomic sites that hadn't previously been linked with intelligence.

    The study is the largest of its kind ever conducted, according to The Guardian, and also found negative correlations between cognitive function and a number of other health problems, including angina, lung cancer and depression.

    Professor Ian Deary, director of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE) and lead author of the study said in a statement: "Less than a decade ago we were searching for genes related to intelligence with about 3,000 participants, and we found nearly nothing".

    However, the researchers said there was no proof of a defined link between the two factors.

    According to lead researcher Ian Deary, "We also need to study our results closely to see what they can tell us about the possibility of understanding the declines in cognitive function that happen with illness and in older age", such as Alzheimer's disease. A double win for the short, and long, sighted.

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