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J Intern Med. 1997 Aug;242(2):149-56.

Chronic work stress is associated with atherogenic lipids and elevated fibrinogen in middle-aged men.

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Institute of Medical Sociology, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany.



To examine the association between a model of chronic work stress (high efforts in combination with low rewards) and two risk factors of coronary heart disease, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and fibrinogen.


A cross-sectional study in a group of 179 healthy middle-aged (48.5 +/- 4.5) male middle managers.


A large car-producing enterprise in Germany.


After adjustment for relevant covariates, logistic regression analysis showed independent effects of a composite measure of high effort and low reward at work on the prevalence of elevated (upper tertile, i.e. > or = 160 mg dL-1) LDL-cholesterol (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 3.57; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.24-10.20) and on elevated (upper quintile, i.e. > or = 420 mg dL-1) plasma fibrinogen (POR = 6.71 (CI: 1.57-28.76). Apart from this core measure, cigarette smoking, overweight and alcohol consumption were the covariates with the relatively strongest contributions to the multivariate model.


Results give preliminary evidence on an independent association of chronic work stress with atherogenic lipids and with elevated fibrinogen in an occupationally homogeneous group of healthy middle-aged men.

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