High-sensitivity CRP: possible link between job stress and atherosclerosis

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jul;58(7):773-9. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22470.


Background: Chronic inflammation may play an important role in linking job stress to atherosclerosis. We sought to investigate the relationship between job stress and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) among Chinese workers.

Methods: A total of 731 subjects (506 men and 225 women) were analyzed. Job stress was evaluated by effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model.

Results: Among men, after adjustment for confounders, effort, overcommitment, and ERI were significantly positively correlated with hs-CRP; and reward was significantly inversely related with hs-CRP; high level of effort, overcommitment, or ERI, respectively, significantly increased the odds of high hs-CRP with ORs of 2.0, 3.5, and 3.3 (all P<0.001), compared with the corresponding low level groups. Among women, high overcommitment or ERI also increased risk of high hs-CRP with ORs of 2.8, and 4.1 (P<0.05).

Conclusions: High effort, overcommmitment, and ERI were positively associated with hs-CRP. Inflammation indicated by hs-CRP may be one of important mediators linking job stress and atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / blood*
  • Occupational Diseases / complications
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Reward
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload / psychology


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein