Work-related psychosocial stress as a risk factor for asthma, allergy, and respiratory infections in the Swedish workforce

Psychol Rep. 2014 Apr;114(2):377-89. doi: 10.2466/15.14.PR0.114k20w3.


This study examined the association between work-related psychosocial stress and asthma, atopy, and respiratory infections. 532 randomly selected occupationally active people (272 men, 260 women; M age = 41 yr., SD = 13) in Sweden participated. Information on history of asthma, atopy, and respiratory infections was collected by a postal self-report questionnaire. Work stress was assessed based on the demands-control-support model. Current asthma and respiratory infections were associated with work-related psychosocial stress. When stratified for sex, these associations were only found in men. Associations between low control, low support, and current asthma were found among young participants (< 40 years), whereas among older participants (> 40 years) low supervisor support was associated with frequent respiratory infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Work / psychology*