recent study was carried out to assess the role of psychosocial stress related
to work (job strain) as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The study was
carried out with a meta-analysis of several studies, published and unpublished,
from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.
The researchers defined incident coronary heart disease as
the first non-fatal myocardial infarction or coronary death. Individual records
of 13 European cohort studies (from 19852006) of employed men and women
without coronary heart disease at baseline assessment were examined. Subjects
without data for age, sex, job strain, or coronary heart disease events, and
those who were already diagnosed with coronary heart disease before the study
were omitted from the study. Some of their lifestyle factors such as smoking,
alcohol intake and physical activity were also assessed. The mean age of the
subjects was 42.3 years and 50% of the subjects were women.
role of psychological factors, including personality type, psychological stress
and cognition in the cause of coronary heart disease has already been analyzed
in other studies. Of these factors, psychological stress has been the most
widely analyzed factor. The association between job strain, high job demands,
low work control and psychological stress has been widely investigated. Some
studies have shown that the risk of heart disease doubles with job strain but
other meta-analysis studies have shown that the risk is modest, approximately
this study, job strain was measured with the help of a questionnaire. The
participants were asked about the psychological nuances of their job and the
median scores were calculated to assess job strain. The subjects were followed
up for any cardiovascular event or death due to cardiovascular illnesses.
study helped to establish a significant link between job strain and coronary
heart disease. The unpublished data suggests that the link was weak while the
published data pointed to the contrary. The associated risk factors such as
age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, socio economic status did not change the
magnitude of the link between job strain and cardiovascular risk.
Reference: "Job strain as a risk factor for coronary heart disease: a collaborative
meta-analysis of individual participant data;" Mika Kivimaki et al; The Lancet
Online Publication (2012).