Work stress could lead to a rise in blood pressure, particularly if you are a man and lack social support at work, revealed a new study. Chantal Guimont and colleagues at Laval University, Quebec, Canada, studied 6,719 workers over more than seven years and found that job strain, particularly in workers with low social support at work, may contribute to increased blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for a number of serious medical illnesses, including strokes and heart attacks. Other factors may have contributed to the high blood pressure found in the white-collar workers that they studied but high job demands, tight deadlines and low support in the workplace appeared to be triggers, particularly in men, said Guimont. Studies are now under way to see if employers can alleviate the problem, the researchers said in the American Journal of Public Health. They suggested that employers might be able to help by giving workers more support and control over deadlines and tasks. While stress is one cause of high blood pressure, there are a number of other things that can contribute like a poor diet, drinking excess alcohol, being overweight or obese, eating too much salt and not exercising enough.