ABC's Sawyer: 'We're Working Ourselves to Death'

     “We’re working ourselves to death,” Diane Sawyer concluded from a new University of California study on blood pressure and work. But the “Good Morning America” host left out some key information in her August 29 interview with a cardiologist.

     “This is really something to show finally that there is a parallel” between high blood pressure and hours spent at work, Sawyer said as she talked with New York Presbyterian Hospital cardiologist Lori Mosca.

     People who work 40 or more hours a week are 14 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than anybody else,” Sawyer noted, citing a new study by the University of California.

     Over background footage of workers in an office environment, Tosca suggested long hours, poor diet, and lack of exercise were a “perfect storm” affecting heart health. Sawyer added, “we’re working ourselves to death, in other words.”

     But the same study actually found blood pressure problems worse among white-collar workers than blue-collar workers, supposedly because the latter get more exercise during the day from more physically demanding jobs.

     Even so, the study’s researchers found “that hypertension was more common among clerical and unskilled workers than among professionals,” the Reuters news agency noted in an August 29 article. This “suggests that occupations requiring more challenging and mentally active work may have a protective effect against hypertension,” UC Irvine’s Dr. Haiou Yang and his colleagues wrote.

    Still another study published earlier in August suggested a positive work environment plays a role in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, another fact that Sawyer left out of her story.

    As Reuters reported on August 4, a study published in the August edition of the American Journal of Public Health found that “men and women with low levels of support from their supervisors and/or co-workers” had a high risk of increased blood pressure, while for workers “with high social support, high levels of job stress did not appear to be associated with increased blood pressures.”