Objectives: Low organizational justice has been shown to be associated with increased risk of various health problems, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We tested whether organisational injustice contributes to chronic inflammation in a population of middle-aged men and women.
Methods: This prospective cohort study uses data from 3205 men and 1204 women aged 35–55 years at entry into the Whitehall II study (Phase 1, 1985-1988). Organisational justice perceptions were assessed at Phase 1 and Phase 2 (1989-1990) and circulating inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 at Phase 3 (1991-1993) and Phase 7 (2003-2004).
Results: In men, low organisational justice was associated with increased C-reactive protein levels at both follow-ups (Phase 3 and 7) and increased interleukin-6 at the second follow-up (Phase 7). The long term (Phase 7) associations were largely independent of covariates, such as age, employment grade, body mass index and depressive symptoms. In women, no relationship was found between organisational justice and C-reactive protein or interleukin-6.
Conclusions: This study suggests that organisational injustice is associated with increased long-term levels of inflammatory markers among men.
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