Article Text


0101 Work Hours, Job Strain, and Occupation with Endothelial Function: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
  1. Luenda Charles1,
  2. Desta Fekedulegn1,
  3. Paul Landsbergis2,
  4. Cecil Burchfiel1,
  5. Sherry Baron3,
  6. Joel Kaufman4,
  7. Karen Hinckley Stukovsky5,
  8. Kaori Fujishiro3,
  9. Capri Foy6,
  10. Michael Andrew1,
  11. Ana Diez Roux7
  1. 1Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV, USA
  2. 2Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and State University of New York Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY, USA
  3. 3Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  4. 4Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  5. 5Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  6. 6Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
  7. 7Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


Objectives To investigate associations of work hours, job control, job demands, job strain, and occupational category with endothelial function, a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Method Currently employed participants free of CVD (n = 1499; 55.5% men; 62% non-white) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis provided information on work hours, job decision latitude, and job demands. Responses to current occupation were coded using the Census 2000 Occupational Codes; codes were collapsed to provide four occupational categories. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a validated measure of endothelial function, was obtained using high-resolution ultrasound. Mean values of FMD, expressed as percent change in brachial artery diameter, were examined across categories of work hours (<40, 40, 41–49, ≥50) and the other exposures using ANOVA/ANCOVA.

Results Occupational category was significantly associated with FMD overall, with Blue-collar workers showing the lowest mean values after adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, waist circumference, total and HDL cholesterol, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, physical activity, smoking status, and pack-years of smoking: Management/Professional = 4.96 ± 0.22%; Sales/Office = 5.06 ± 0.27%; Services = 4.70 ± 0.29%; Blue-collar workers = 4.18 ± 0.27% (adjusted p = 0.001). There was evidence of effect modification between occupational category and FMD by gender (p = 0.031) such that in stratified analyses, significant associations were observed among women (adjusted p = 0.002) but not men (adjusted p = 0.098). None of the other work exposures were significantly associated with FMD.

Conclusions Blue-collar workers had decreased endothelial function compared to other workers; potential reasons should be examined in future studies. Decreased endothelial function may reflect a biological mechanism explaining occupational differences in CVD.

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.