Background: Job control and work environment are related to risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but there is limited understanding of the independent risks associated with these factors.
Objective: To investigate the association between psychosocial work characteristics and biological risk factors for both sexes for a random population sample in Göteborg, Sweden.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Methods: We used an age-stratified random sample of men and women aged 25-64 years comprising 1200 men and 1412 women, from which 746 men and 872 women responded to the invitation for screening, which included questionnaires and physical/laboratory investigations in 1995.
Results: Women had lower job control than did men (P=0.00001); job demands were equal and social support at work slightly higher among women (P=0.04). Job control was positively related to education and social group. Smoking women had low job control and high job demands. Women with high grades of psychological stress had low job control and low social support at work (P=0.001 and P=0.01). For both sexes job demands were high (P=0.0001) among those who reported high psychological stress. Men with high job control and high social support at work were more physically active during leisure time. Subjects with job strain had low social support (P=0.01). Job-stress factors were not related to biological coronary risk factors.
Conclusions: Women had lower job control than did men. Job control was positively related to education, social class and physical activity. Psychosocial factors were not related to biological coronary risk factors.