Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2021;47(6):425-434    pdf

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3966 | Published online: 19 May 2021, Issue date: 01 Sep 2021

Association of managerial position with cardiovascular risk factors: A fixed-effects analysis for Japanese employees

by Ikesu R, Miyawaki A, Svensson AK, Svensson T, Kobayashi Y, Chung UI

Objectives Although higher occupational classes have been reported to be associated with better health, researchers do not fully understand whether such associations derive from the position or individual characteristics of the person in that position. We examined the association between being a manager and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors using unique panel data in Japan that annually observed employees’ occupational class and health conditions.

Methods We analyzed data for 45 888 observations from a Japanese company from 2013 through 2017. The association between being a manager and CVD risk factors (metabolic risks and health-related behaviors) were evaluated using simple pooled cross-sectional analyses with adjustment for age, sex, marital status, and overtime-working hours. We further incorporated employee-level fixed-effects into the models to examine whether the associations were subject to individual time-invariant factors.

Results The pooled cross-sectional analyses showed that, compared to non-managers, managers had 2.0 mg/dl lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level, 1.4 mmHg-lower systolic blood pressure, and 0.2 kg/m2 lower body mass index (BMI). After adjusting for employee-level fixed-effects, being a manager was associated with a significantly 2.2 mg/dl higher LDL-C level. However, the associations between an individual’s management status and blood pressure or BMI were not significant. Furthermore, managers were 5.5% less likely to exercise regularly and 6.1% less likely to report sufficient sleep in the fixed-effects models, although the pooled cross-sectional analyses did not demonstrate these significant associations.

Conclusions Our findings suggest the necessity of considering these unfavorable health risks associated with being promoted to a manager.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2016;42(3):228-236
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