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J Psychosom Res. 1995 Feb;39(2):133-44.

Contribution of job strain, job status and marital status to laboratory and ambulatory blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension.

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  • 1Dept Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


The effects of job strain, occupational status, and marital status on blood pressure were evaluated in 99 men and women with mild hypertension. Blood pressure was measured during daily life at home and at work over 15 h of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. On a separate day, blood pressure was measured in the laboratory during mental stress testing. As expected, during daily life, blood pressure was higher at work than at home. High job strain was associated with elevated systolic blood pressure among women, but not men. However, both men and women with high status occupations had significantly higher blood pressures during daily life and during laboratory mental stress testing. This was especially true for men, in that men with high job status had higher systolic blood pressures than low job status men. Marital status also was an important moderating variable, particularly for women, with married women having higher ambulatory blood pressures than single women. During mental stress testing, married persons had higher systolic blood pressures than unmarried individuals. These data suggest that occupational status and marital status may contribute even more than job strain to variations in blood pressure during daily life and laboratory testing.

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