Associations between job stress and risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older workers using data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) will be presented. HRS is an ongoing national panel study conducted biannually since 1992. Previous cross-sectional studies have shown associations between prevalence of CVD and job stress. However, these two variables have rarely been studied over time in a large national cohort such as that in HRS. Older workers (n = 6670) ages 50-62 years at baseline were followed for up to 12 years. Job stress was measured by the question ''my job involves a lot of stress'', coded on a 4-point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree, 4 = strongly disagree). Proportional hazard regression was used to model the effect of baseline job stress on hypertension (HTN) with adjustment for gender, race, ethnicity, education, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, body mass index, and family income; and on heart problems with additional adjustment for HTN. Age when conditions developed or censored was used as time-scale. Workers having conditions at baseline were excluded, leaving 4578 for analysis of HTN and 6126 for heart problems. With disagree and strongly disagree combined as the reference level, the estimated hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of HTN is 1.32 (1.13-1.53) for strongly agree and 1.02 (0.90-1.15) for agree. For heart problems, HR and 95% CI is 1.30 (1.04-1.61) for strongly agree and 1.05 (0.91-1.21) for agree. Results show that a high level of job stress is predictive of CVD incidence in older workers, and has important implications for the prevention of CVD-related health problems in the workplace.
American Journal of Epidemiology. Abstracts of the 2nd North American Congress of Epidemiology, June 21-24, 2006, Seattle, Washington