Job Strain and Cognitive Decline: A Prospective Study of the Framingham Offspring Cohort

Int J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Apr;6(2):79-94. doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2015.534.


Background: Workplace stress is known to be related with many behavioral and disease outcomes. However, little is known about its prospective relationship with measures of cognitive decline.

Objective: To investigate the association of job strain, psychological demands and job control on cognitive decline.

Methods: Participants from Framingham Offspring cohort (n=1429), were assessed on job strain, and received neuropsychological assessment approximately 15 years and 21 years afterwards.

Results: High job strain and low control were associated with decline in verbal learning and memory. Job strain was associated with decline in word recognition skills. Active job and passive job predicted decline in verbal learning and memory relative to low strain jobs in the younger subgroup. Active job and demands were positively associated with abstract reasoning skills.

Conclusions: Job strain and job control may influence decline in cognitive performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / prevention & control
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*