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Organisational injustice and impaired cardiovascular regulation among female employees
  1. M Elovainio1,
  2. M Kivimäki2,
  3. S Puttonen2,
  4. H Lindholm3,
  5. T Pohjonen3,
  6. T Sinervo1
  1. 1National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, PO Box 220, FIN-00531 Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, PO Box 9, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Elovainio
 Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, PO Box 220, FIN-00531 Helsinki, Finland; marko.elovainio{at}


Objectives: To examine the relation between perceived organisational justice and cardiovascular reactivity in women.

Methods: The participants were 57 women working in long term care homes. Heart rate variability and systolic arterial pressure variability were used as markers of autonomic function. Organisational justice was measured using the scale of Moorman. Data on other risk factors were also collected.

Results: Results from logistic regression models showed that the risk for increased low frequency band systolic arterial pressure variability was 3.8–5.8 times higher in employees with low justice than in employees with high justice. Low perceived justice was also related to an 80% excess risk of reduced high frequency heart rate variability compared to high perceived justice, but this association was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that cardiac dysregulation is one stress mechanism through which a low perceived justice of decision making procedures and interpersonal treatment increases the risk of health problems in personnel.

  • HF, high frequency
  • HRV, heart rate variability
  • LF, low frequency
  • SAP, systolic arterial pressure
  • organisational justice
  • chronic stress
  • autonomic nervous system
  • blood pressure variability
  • heart rate variability

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  • Funding: The Finnish Work Environment Fund (FWEF) (project 103314 and 103432) and the Academy of Finland (project 105195) for MK, and the FWEF (projects 96052 and 801639) for ME

  • Competing interests: none declared