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Job strain is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease

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Question: Is job strain a risk factor for coronary heart disease?

People: A total of 197 473 participants from 13 published and unpublished cohort studies, who were employed, did not have coronary heart disease at baseline assessment, and had data on job strain. The studies were part of the individual-participant-data meta-analysis in working populations (IPD-Work) consortium. The mean age of the participants at enrolment was 42.3 years and half of them were men.

Setting: UK, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands; 1985 to 2006.

Risk factors: Job strain, defined as a combination of high job-demand and low job-control. The participants in each cohort study were required to complete a validated job-content questionnaire and demand-control questionnaire. Job-demand questions asked the participants about whether they had to work very hard, had excessive amounts of work, conflicting demands or insufficient time. Job-control questions were on decision-freedom and learning new things at work. High job-demand was defined as having a job-demand score higher than the study-specific median score, and low job-control was defined as having a job-control score lower …

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  • Sources of funding: Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Academy of Finland, the Swedish Research Council for Working Life and Social Research, German Social Accident Insurance, the Danish National Research Centre for the Working Environment, the BUPA Foundation, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the US National Institutes of Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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