Healthcare: On the Agenda - Heart attacks cut by promotion

In a nutshell

A study from the Economic Journal showed those who achieve promotion at work are less likely to have a heart attack.

About the study

The study examined the relationship between health and chances of promotion. It showed that doubling the departmental promotion rate decreases the number of new heart disease cases by approximately 20 per cent. The study examined UK civil servants from 1985 to 1999. It was authored by Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, and Michael Anderson, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Berkeley.


The results indicated upward mobility and socioeconomic status have important effects on physical health. The work is the latest contribution to an emerging body of evidence that examines the potential health effects of promotions, awards and status. Past studies have found that Oscar winners outlive runners-up, Nobel Laureates outlive nominees and baseball players who reach the Hall of Fame outlive those who fall just short.

PR strategy

The story was offered to The Observer as an exclusive after an enquiry from the paper about what was contained in the findings. Anderson was made available for interview.

Media coverage

Following The Observer piece, the story was picked up by The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, as well as and consumer and international websites.

4.7k - Number of civil servants who were sampled

3 - Average number of years an Oscar winner is likely to outlive a runner-up.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in