Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31(5):352-359    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.918

Association between work-related psychological stress and arterial stiffness measured by brachial-ankle pulse-wave velocity in young Japanese males from an information service company

by Nomura K, Nakao M, Karita K, Nishikitani M, Yano E

Objectives This study examined the relationship between work-related psychological stress and arterial stiffness in young Japanese workers.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 396 Japanese male workers, aged 24 to 39 years, employed in a Japanese information service company. Work-related psychological stress was measured by the Job Content Questionnaire based on the job demand–control model. The job-strain index was defined as the ratio of job demand to job-control scores. The outcome of the study was the degree of arteriosclerosis as assessed by brachial pulse-wave velocity (baPWV). The cardiovascular risk factors analyzed were age, heart rate, blood pressure, body mass index, serum lipid, blood sugar levels, catecholamine levels, ethanol consumption, smoking, and overtime. In addition, psychological responses were assessed by tension–anxiety and anger–hostility scales in the Profile of Mood States (POMS).

Results The baPWV was positively (P<0.05) associated with physiological variables including age, heart rate, body mass index, and serum levels of total cholesterol, fasting glucose, and noradrenaline, but negatively (P<0.01) associated with the job-strain index. Significant associations were not found on the POMS tension–anxiety and anger–hostility scale scores. The negative correlation between baPWV and the job-strain index was consistent even after control for the effects of significant physiological variables.

Conclusions The association between job stress and baPWV was found to be inconsistent with the results of previous western studies, and it may require further investigation while taking into account occupation, cardiovascular risk factors, and Japanese culture.

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