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Job characteristics, occupation and coronary heart disease.

Karasek-RA; Schwartz-J; Theorell-T; Pieper-C; Russell-S; Michela-J
NIOSH 1982 Oct; :1-172
In the present study we test both a new model of job-related coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, and introduce a new technique for assessing the effects of job characteristics of detailed occupational groups. The model of job-related CHD risk has been successfully tested in Sweden with incidence data at the individual level. However, because good job data is lacking in major U. S. cardiovascular data bases, in order to test for comparable U.S. associations, we are obliged to develop a methodology for linking the data bases concerning job conditions and CHD incidence, respectively (a methodology which also can be applied to occupational diseases other than heart disease). We use major national surveys of job characteristics by U.S. occupation code to compile occupational means on a range of salient job characteristics. These job scores can then be applied to any CHD survey with U.S. Census occupation codes. Analytic tests can then be made on models of job characteristics which could be CHD risk factors. Our information about job characteristics for occupational groups is derived from three national samples of the U.S. Quality of Employment Surveys (1969, 1972 and 1977). In addition, occupational scores are adjusted for the effects of demographic factors such as sex, age, race and education. These scores are applied, in this paper, to two U.S. national surveys of CHD illness prevalence (HES 1960-1961) and the HANES 1971-1974) to test hypotheses about the association between specific job characteristics .and myocardial infarction. In general, the model of CHD risk, based on low control on the job and high psychological work load, is confirmed. Our inference method also allows previous findings about job characteristics of specific occupations to be reviewed against the background of a comparative national framework, and for occupations simultaneously at risk on several factors to be identified for future, more detailed field studies.
Heart; Occupational-diseases; Occupations; Job-analysis; Job-stress; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Mathematical-models; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Information-retrieval-systems; Myocardial-disorders
Columbia University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Room 302, Seeley W. Mudd Building, New York, NY 10027
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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Columbia University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, New York, New York