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Work-related life events, psychological well-being and cardiovascular risk factors in male Swedish automotive workers.

Journal article
Authors Gisela Rose
Lars Kumlin
Lennart Dimberg
Calle Bengtsson
Kristina Orth-Gomer
Xiaodong Cai
Published in Occupational medicine (Oxford, England)
Volume 56
Issue 6
Pages 386-92
ISSN 0962-7480
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 386-92
Language en
Keywords Coronary disease, life event, psychological, risk factors, stress
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


AIMS: To analyse the relationship between life events, social support, psychological well-being and cardiovascular risk factors in blue- and white-collar Swedish automotive workers. METHODS: Baseline questionnaire regarding life events, social support, depressed mood and mental strain and smoking habits. Follow-up questionnaire after 5 years included the Psychological General Well-being Inventory to assess various health variables. At baseline and follow-up, anthropometric data were obtained. Blood pressure, blood glucose and serum lipids were measured and smoking habits were surveyed. RESULTS: The blue-collar workers showed a profile indicating increased cardiovascular risk with a higher proportion of smokers, a higher waist to hip ratio and higher triglycerides. They also reported themselves to have worse general health and less emotional self-control, but were less anxious than the white-collar workers. Negative life events, especially those related to work seemed to affect the well-being of the blue-collar workers more adversely than the white-collar workers. Being nervous and depressed at baseline increased the risk of poor psychological well-being at the follow-up. Social support within this 5-year perspective was a factor which predicted psychological well-being in both worker categories. Increase in cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio was the only cardiovascular risk factor associated with the strain of life events but not with work-related events. CONCLUSION: Over a 5-year period, men who experienced negative, strongly stressful and work-related life events displayed poorer psychological well-being at follow-up regardless of worker category. Social support was protective.

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