Cardiovascular disease is a broad term used to describe conditions involving the heart, blood vessels, and circulatory system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiac disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 650,000 lives per year. That equates to one death due to cardiac problems every 36 seconds. What’s even more frightening is that 53% of those who die from cardiovascular disease are under the age of 60.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

Everyone is at some risk for developing cardiovascular disease. However, certain risk factors can significantly increase someone’s chances of a heart attack or other circulatory system disorder. Some risk factors are beyond a person’s control. For example, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age, and men are at a greater risk than women. There is also evidence that heart disease is hereditary.

In general, people can reduce their risk by taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle. The following are among the most common preventable contributors to heart disease:

  • Smoking tobacco,
  • High cholesterol,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Physical inactivity,
  • Obesity,
  • Diabetes,
  • Stress,
  • Overexertion,
  • Alcohol consumption, and
  • Poor diet.

Everyone can make certain changes to their life to decrease their risk of heart disease. However, one factor that many people overlook when assessing their risk is their occupation.

Can Work Contribute to the Risk of Heart Disease?

Absolutely. Any job that exposes a worker to any of the cardiovascular disease risks can greatly increase their chance of developing heart disease. According to the CDC, the following jobs put workers at the greatest risk of cardiovascular disease:

  • Community and social services;
  • Transportation and material moving;
  • Architecture and engineering;
  • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance;
  • Personal care and service;
  • Office and administrative support;
  • Management;
  • Construction and extraction;
  • Computer and mathematical;
  • Education, training, and library; and
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair.

Working in any of these jobs puts you at a higher risk of heart disease. However, any occupation can contribute to the development of heart disease.

Can Workers Who Suffer a Cardiac Disease File for Workers’ Compensation?

If you’ve suffered from a heart attack or other cardiac disease, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. However, heart diseases are complex and usually the result of the combination of several factors. Of course, most workers spend a significant amount of their time at work, and the work environment can greatly contribute to a worker’s cardiac health. However, employers and their insurance companies will often contest workers’ comp claims based on cardiac diseases.

Because of the challenges linking heart disease to one particular activity, New Jersey workers’ compensation law specifically addresses cardiac disease. Specifically, the law provides that in any worker’s compensation claim based on cardiovascular disease, the worker must prove “the injury or death was produced by the work effort or strain involving a substantial condition, event or happening in excess of the wear and tear of the claimant’s daily living and in reasonable medical probability caused in a material degree the cardiovascular . . . injury or death resulting therefrom.”

The law requires that those employees suffering from cardiac disease to show that their work contributed to their disease to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This can be challenging because there are often many factors that can play into a heart disease diagnosis.

Why It Is Important to Work with an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While there is no legal requirement that an injured worker retain an attorney to assist in the preparation of their workers’ compensation claim, it is generally a good idea to do so. This is especially the case for workers who suffered cardiovascular disease, as these claims tend to be more difficult to prove.

When you file a workers’ comp claim, your employer’s insurance company will likely be the one determining whether to approve your claim and how much to offer you in compensation. Insurance companies are always looking to minimize their expenses, and it is very easy for an insurance company to justify denying a claim based on a worker’s individual risk factors. In other words, the insurance company may claim that your family history of heart disease and the fact that you didn’t live a perfectly healthy life was what caused you to develop heart disease. Of course, this ignores the impact your occupation had on your cardiovascular disease.

Contact the Exceptional Workers’ Comp Attorneys at Petro Cohen

If you believe you might have a workers’ compensation claim due to your heart attack or other cardiac related illness, make sure you have a competent workers’ comp attorney by your side.

The law firm of Petro Cohen, P.C. has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ comp. Petro Cohen has received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.

In addition to the firm’s stellar reputation, the department head, Frank Petro, is respected locally, regionally, and nationally as a leading attorney in this specialized field. He has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by Best Lawyers® every year since 1995 and by Super Lawyers® every year since 2005. Moreover, he has achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, the highest achievable rating.

Along with Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, Daniel Rosenthal, and Samuel Scimeca, our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases throughout New Jersey.

Having an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner can help you prove your claim and prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. Remember…In Litigation, You Don’t Get a Second Chance.  Call Petro Cohen, P.C. today at 888-675-7607 or contact us online at