Interestingly, some compelling research has repeatedly found the exact opposite effect. The social epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot has conducted extensive studies demonstrating a link between individuals' job gradients and various health outcomes (cf. Marmot, 2004; Bosma et al., 1997). He has found that with higher occupational status comes better health and longer life expectancy (whilst controlling for some of the obvious confounding variables). Why would this be the case given that we typically associate greater stress with jobs of higher status?
Most of us are well aware of the pernicious effects of job stress on our health. One might think that the more responsibilities that one has, the greater the experienced stress, and as such the worse the eventual health outcomes. Viewed from this perspective, we might predict that the CEO of a Fortune 500 company is more likely to suffer a heart attack than the security guard minding the information desk at the company's lobby. Similarly, one would think that a neurosurgeon experiences much greater stress than a hospital orderly, and as such the latter should be more prone to experience the ill effects of stress.