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Gender and occupational differences in blood pressure in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III.

Alterman T; Chen X; Grosch J
Journal of Womens Health & Gender-Based Medicine 2002 Apr; 11(3):322
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) impacts worker health. In several industrialized countries, CVDs are the leading cause of death in women, as they are in men, and generate an equal amount of heart disease expenditure in both groups. Differences in self-reported hypertension objective measurements of blood pressure, and treated hypertension were examined with respect to gender and longest held occupation. Data were based on the NHANES III survey, 1988-1994. Self-reported physician diagnosed hypertension was measured on two occasions, measurements taken by the interviewer in the household, and 3 measurements taken by a physician for 16,244 respondents. Prevalence of self-reported hypertension was higher in women than in men for all occupations. When looking at treated or objectively measured hypertension, women in blue collar occupations had the highest prevalence (27%) followed by men in blue collar occupations (24%). Odds ratios adjusted by age and race for women were highest for construction laborers, workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing, and mechanics. For men highest odds ratios were found among construction laborers, textile apparel and furnishings machine operators, and motor vehicle operators. Additional gender differences will be presented. Gender differences in occupation suggest that occupational factors may have a differential impact on blood pressure. Occupational self-selection, sedentary lifestyle, health behaviors, race, and obesity may contribute to differences in hypertension.
Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Women; Hypertension; Blood-pressure; Age-factors; Agricultural-workers; Construction-workers; Forestry-workers; Genetic-factors; Occupations; Health-surveys
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Organization of Work
Source Name
Journal of Womens Health & Gender-Based Medicine
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division