Primary Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Predicted by Poor Working Conditions in the GAZEL Cohort

Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct 1;186(7):815-823. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx152.


The mechanisms by which work environment might influence cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk are still a matter of debate. In particular, the involvement of the main behavioral and clinical risk factors and their relationships with working conditions are not always clear, despite an abundant body of literature. Most studies have investigated the impact of a limited number of characteristics of the work environment on the occurrence of 1 or a few risk factors. In contrast, in this study we used a global approach in which 30 objective and subjective indicators of working conditions were tested as predictors of 9 modifiable CVD risk factors in a well-characterized cohort of 20,625 middle-aged French workers who were followed from the 1990s until they retired or until December 31, 2013. The incidence of 3 CVD risk factors (obesity, sleep complaints, and depression) was predicted by a large number of indicators of working conditions in both age- and sex-adjusted and multivariate-adjusted Cox regression models, whatever the significance threshold retained. These results suggest the existence of close relationships between a poor work environment and a higher risk of developing obesity, sleep complaints, or depression. These risk factors may contribute to increased CVD risk not only when workers are exposed to poor working conditions but also after retirement, as predictors of the appearance of other risk factors.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; cohort studies; risk factors; work environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Employment / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Risk Factors
  • Workplace*