Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(2):129-138    pdf


Urinary catecholamines and salivary cortisol on workdays and days off in relation to job strain among female health care providers

by Fujiwara K, Tsukishima E, Kasai S, Masuchi A, Tsutsumi A, Kawakami N, Miyake H, Kishi R

Objectives This study examined the effects of psychosocial job strain on the excretion of neuroendocrine stress hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol) on workdays and days off.

Methods Japanese female health care providers (N=16) filled out Karasek`s job content questionnaire and had their neuroendocrine excretions (ie, urinary catecholamines and salivary cortisol) measured on a day off and on two workdays (one day shift and one night shift). After control for age and job experience as covariates, a repeated-measures analysis of variance was carried out.

Results Noradrenaline excretion was significantly greater over time in the high-strain group than in the low-strain group, and that of the high-demand group was significantly greater over time than that of the low-demand group. Adrenaline excretion did not significantly differ between the groups. The group with high supervisory support had significantly higher adrenaline excretion than the group with low supervisory support. The concentration of salivary cortisol on a dayshift was significantly lower, but marginally, in the high-strain group than in the low-strain group.

Conclusions Psychosocial job strain is associated with greater noradrenaline excretion over time. This finding suggests unwinding sympathetic nervous activity. The low cortisol levels of the high-strain group may indicate circadian rhythm disturbance induced by job strain. Supervisory relationships may have a particular influence for the studied occupation because the participants had more administrative contact with supervisors than support at the worksite; therefore, supervisory support may increase adrenaline excretion.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2000;26(4):306-316
The following article refers to this text: 2009;35(3):188-192