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Associations of perceived work strain with nicotine dependence in a community sample
  1. U John1,
  2. J Riedel2,
  3. H-J Rumpf2,
  4. U Hapke1,
  5. C Meyer1
  1. 1University of Greifswald, Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Greifswald, Germany
  2. 2University of Lübeck, Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Lübeck, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Dr U John
 Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Greifswald, Walter-Rathenau-Str 48, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany; ujohn{at}


Background: Little is known about work strain and smoking, and even less about work strain and nicotine dependence.

Aim: To investigate the relations of perceived work strain with nicotine dependence among an adult general population sample.

Method: Cross sectional survey with a probability sample of residents of a northern German area with 4075 participants, aged 18–64 years (participation rate 70.2%). The current study is based on 2549 participants who were working 15 or more hours per week. Face to face at-home computer aided interviews (World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview) were carried out. Work strain, defined as high work demand and low work control, was assessed with a questionnaire. Nicotine dependence was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association. In addition, the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) was used.

Results: Subjects with work strain had an odds ratio of 1.6 (95% CI 1.2 to 2.3) for nicotine dependence compared to those who had no work strain. In a general linear model, higher work strain was associated with a stronger relation between work demand and work control and the FTND. The findings were adjusted for alcohol use disorders, occupational status, age, and sex.

Conclusion: Perceived work strain is related to nicotine dependence in this general adult population.

  • CIDI, Composite International Diagnostic Interview
  • DSM-IV, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (of the American Psychiatric Association)
  • FTND, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence
  • smoking
  • nicotine dependence
  • alcohol dependence

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  • Institution to which the work should be attributed: University of Greifswald, Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine