Objectives To assess the effectiveness of a workplace intervention reducing psychosocial stressors at work in lowering blood pressure and hypertension prevalence.
Methods The study design was a quasi-experimental pre–post study with an intervention group and a control group. Post-intervention measurements were collected 6 and 36 months after the midpoint of the intervention. Participants were all white-collar workers employed in three public organisations. At baseline, the intervention and the control groups were composed of 1088 and 1068 workers, respectively. The intervention was designed to reduce psychosocial stressors at work by implementing organisational changes. Adjusted changes in ambulatory blood pressure and hypertension prevalence were examined.
Results Blood pressure and hypertension significantly decreased in the intervention group while no change was observed in the control group. The differential decrease in systolic blood pressure between the intervention and the control group was 2.0 mm Hg (95% CI: −3.0 to –1.0). The prevalence of hypertension decreased in the intervention group, when compared with the control group (prevalence ratio: 0.85 (95% CI: 0.74 to 0.98)).
Conclusions Findings suggest that psychosocial stressors at work are relevant targets for the primary prevention of hypertension. At the population level, systolic blood pressure reductions such as those observed in the present study could prevent a significant number of premature deaths and disabling strokes.
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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XT and MG-O contributed equally.
Contributors CB and MV were responsible for study concept and design, as well as supervising the data collection. AM supervised the cardiovascular aspect of the study. BM and DT were involved in the statistical analyses. XT, MG-O, CB and MV supervised aspects related to occupational epidemiology. All the authors participated in reviewing and drafting of the manuscript. XT and MG-O had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Funding This research was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (# 91062) and from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (#R01 OH007647-02).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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