Job strain linked to stroke risk in Japanese men

January 13th, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, January 13 (ANI): A Japanese study suggests that men in high high-stress jobs are more likely to suffer a stroke than those in less demanding positions.
Background information in the study report, appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reveals that stress is considered a risk factor for stroke.
The study report further states that several models of job stress have been developed, and provide clues as to how occupational factors may be modified to reduce risk.
“The job demandcontrol model is the most often used occupational stress model. It posits that workers who face high psychological demands in their occupation and have little control over their work (i.e., those who have job strain) are at a greater risk of becoming ill than are workers with low psychological demands and a high degree of control in their occupation (i.e., those with low-strain occupations),” the authors write.
Research leader Akizumi Tsutsumi, of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Fukuoka, has revealed that the study was focused on 6,553 Japanese workers3,190 men and 3,363 women, age 65 and youngerwho had completed an initial questionnaire and physical examination between 1992 and 1995.
The researcher revealed that the workers were followed up annually through phone calls, letters, and interviews for an average of 11 years.
It was found that 147 strokes occurred during that period, including 91 in men and 56 in women.
The researchers revealed that those stroke events occurred in seven men and 11 women with “low-strain” jobs (low job demand and high job control), in 23 men and 15 women with “active” jobs (high job demand and high job control), 33 men and 15 women with “passive” jobs (low job demand and low job control) and 28 men and 15 women with “high-strain” jobs (high job demand and low job control).
“Multivariable analysis revealed a more than two-fold increase in the risk of total stroke among men with job strain (combination of high job demand and low job control) compared with counterpart men with low strain (combination of low job demand and high job control) after adjustment for age, educational attainment, occupation, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity and study area,” the authors write.
“Although women with high-strain jobs tended to have a higher risk of stroke than women with low-strain jobs, no statistically significant differences were found for any stroke incidence among the job characteristic categories for women,” they add.
When the researchers adjusted the results for other stroke risk factors among men, the association between job strain and stroke slightly lessened, suggesting that the relationship might be mediated by chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance and abnormal cholesterol levels.
According to the research team, other factors that might contribute include poor adaptation to stress, activation of the sympathetic nervous system (which controls involuntary reactions to stress) and inflammatory conditions.
“In conclusion, job strain was associated with incident stroke among Japanese men. Because modification of work structures based on the job demandcontrol model can be useful for stress reduction, our study has implications regarding the prevention of incident strokes among male workers,” the authors write. (ANI)

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