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Occup Environ Med. 2010 May;67(5):318-22. doi: 10.1136/oem.2008.043091.

Psychosocial work environment and risk of ischaemic heart disease in women: the Danish Nurse Cohort Study.

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  • 1Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Building 84/85, Ndr. Ringvej 57, Glostrup 2600, Denmark.



To investigate the effect of work pressure and job influence on the development of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in women.


The effect of work pressure and job influence on the 15-year incidence of IHD in women participating in the Danish Nurse Cohort Study was prospectively studied. A total of 12 116 participants, aged 45-64 years, were examined in 1993 using a questionnaire and were followed by individual linkage in the National Register of Hospital Discharges to the beginning of 2008. Work pressure, job influence, occupational characteristics, demographic factors and known biological and behavioural risk factors for IHD were collected at baseline.


During follow-up, 580 participants were hospitalised with IHD. In the fully adjusted model, nurses who reported work pressure to be much too high had a 1.4-fold increased risk of incident IHD (95% CI 1.04 to 1.81) compared with nurses who reported work pressure to be suitable. A tendency towards a dose-response effect was found. Age-stratified analysis showed that this effect was significant only among the younger nurses (<51 years old at baseline). No association was found between job influence and IHD.


In this study we find that work pressure that is too high is a significant risk factor for IHD in younger female employees (<51 years of age). The results should be taken into account in the planning of primary prevention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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