April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6)

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Research Plus

Work stress and cancer

This meta-analysis of 12 European cohort studies – from six countries including the UK – did not find a link between work stress and either colorectal, lung, breast or prostate cancers. The study covered 116,056 men and women aged 17–70, free from cancer at baseline and followed up for a median of 12 years. Work stress – defined as ‘job strain’, which combined high demands and low control at work – was assessed using the Job Content Questionnaire and Demand-Control Questionnaire. Cancer events were taken from national registries, hospital registries and/or employer medical registers. Five per cent of the study population developed some form of cancer during follow-up (5,765 cases).


British Medical Journal 2013; 346: f165. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f165. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f165


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6) pp17