Background: Job strain is associated with an increased coronary heart disease risk, but few large-scale studies have examined the relationship of this psychosocial characteristic with the biological risk factors that potentially mediate the job strain - heart disease association. Methodology and Principal Findings: We pooled cross-sectional, individual-level data from eight studies comprising 47,045 participants to investigate the association between job strain and the following cardiovascular disease risk factors: diabetes, blood pressure, pulse pressure, lipid fractions, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, and overall cardiovascular disease risk as indexed by the Framingham Risk Score. In age-, sex-, and socioeconomic status-adjusted analyses, compared to those without job strain, people with job strain were more likely to have diabetes (odds ratio 1.29; 95% CI: 1.11-1.51), to smoke (1.14; 1.08-1.20), to be physically inactive (1.34; 1.26-1.41), and to be obese (1.12; 1.04-1.20). The association between job strain and elevated Framingham risk score (1.13; 1.03-1.25) was attributable to the higher prevalence of diabetes, smoking and physical inactivity among those reporting job strain. Conclusions: In this meta-analysis of work-related stress and cardiovascular disease risk factors, job strain was linked to adverse lifestyle and diabetes. No association was observed between job strain, clinic blood pressure or blood lipids.
PLOS ONE , 2013. Vol. 8, no 6, e67323- p.