Employees who experience poor management and leadership are more likely to suffer from heart disease, according to research by Swedish scientists.

The study of 3,000 men found a strong link between employees who feel undervalued and unsupported at work and their risk of experiencing heart problems.

Scientists tracked the health of the employees aged between 19 and 70 working in the Stockholm area between 1992 and 1995.

Anna Nyberg, lead researcher, said the study is the first to provide evidence of the relationship between managerial behaviours and heart disease in employees.

"Enhancing managers’ skills could have important stress-reducing effects on employees and enhance the health at workplaces," she added.

Those involved had to rate the leadership style of their senior managers and during the monitoring period 74 cases of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks occurred.

Employers who see stress as a sign of hard work and do not react to initial warning signs will see their staff suffer further, according to System Concepts.