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Soc Sci Med. 1995 Sep;41(5):717-23.

Psychosocial work characteristics and cardiovascular disease risk factors in young adults: the CARDIA study. Coronary Artery Risk Disease in Young Adults.

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Northwestern University Medical School, Department of Preventive Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The associations of high job demands, low decision latitude and job strain with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among 2665 black and white working men and women were examined in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study--a large, prospective, multi-center study of the development of CVD risk factors in young adults aged 18-30 years at baseline (1985-1986). Multiple linear and multiple logistic regression were used in cross-sectional analyses to examine the associations of job demands, decision latitude and job strain with blood pressure, total serum cholesterol, alcohol use and cigarette consumption. Inverse associations with risk factors were found for high job demands, low decision latitude and job strain. Few associations supported the hypotheses that high job demands, low decision latitude or job strain are associated with increased levels of CVD risk factors. We discuss possible explanations for these findings, including methodologic, age and gender differences between studies. In addition, we discuss the validity of job strain measures for women and minority workers.

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