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August/September 2011 (vol. 08/2)

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Research Plus

Work stress and CVD

A systematic review provides further, moderate, evidence that psychosocial factors at work are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, none of the commonly used models to explain occupational stress – eg ‘demand–control’ ( job strain) and ‘effort–reward imbalance’ models – are able to explain fully the relationship between stress and CVD outcomes. There were significant associations between stress and CVD in 14 of the 26 studies, with all but one showing increased disease risk at higher stress exposure. Most of the significant results came from studies that only looked at men and there is no clear evidence from the included studies to support an occupational stress–disease relationship in women. It remains unclear whether individual factors, such as coping and over-commitment, contribute more or less to CVD than job factors, such as time pressure and work organisation.

International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health 2011; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-011-0643-6.

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Occupational Health at Work August/September 2011 (vol. 08/2) pp42