Objectives Bullying is a problem of the psychosocial work environment and affects health of the employees through the mechanism of stress. We investigated the prevalence of bullying and cardiovascular health effects among teachers of the secondary schools in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Methods A random sample of 738 teachers of 7 Kaunas secondary schools were included into the study. 475 (64.4%) answered the Negative Acts Questionnaire, and some questions on perceived stress, outcomes, diagnosed by a physician over the last 6 months, smoking habits, body height and weight. Cardiovascular diseases included arterial hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction. SPSS 10.0 for windows was used in the statistical analysis and the logistic regression models for the estimation of ORs of bullying on the dependent variables (cardiovascular effects, stress symptoms).
Results The prevalence of regular bullying was 6.4%, occasional bullying - 19.1%. Significant correlations were found between bullying and stress (r 0.332, p<0.01). The age-gender adjusted OR of bullying for cardiovascular diseases was 1.31; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.72, after adjustment for smoking and overweight it was 1.32; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.77. The age-gender adjusted OR of bullying for stress symptoms was 2.97; 95% CI 2.11 to 4.17.
Conclusions Bullied teachers more often were diagnosed cardiovascular diseases as compared with non-bullied ones. Preventive measures should be applied for the reduction of cardiovascular outcomes in the occupation of teachers.
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