Do You Have a "Killer" Boss?

November 25, 2008 ( - Bad bosses can be bad for your health.

A Swedish study has found a link between managerial leadership and heart disease among men. Researchers said women were not included in the study because so few had heart disease.

According to the study, of the 3,122 Swedish male employees tracked during a 9.7-year period, 74 had heart attacks or angina, in some cases fatally. Managerial behaviors were evaluated, and the study found a higher leadership score was associated with lower heart disease risk.

The study said this inverse relation between leadership behavior and heart disease risk was more pronounced the longer the employee had worked in the same workplace.

Managerial behaviors evaluated included consideration for individual employees, provision of clarity in goals and role expectations, supplying information and feedback, ability to carry out changes at work successfully, and promotion of employee participation and control.

“You should take it seriously that you are stressed due to your manager,” said lead author Anna Nyberg, a psychologist at Karolinska Institute’s Department of Public Health Sciences in Stockholm, told Bloombert. “If you have a good boss, you have at least a 20% lower risk and if you stay with your boss for four years, you have at least a 39% lower risk.”

The study, published by the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is here .