Job characteristics in relation to the prevalence of myocardial infarction in the US Health Examination Survey (HES) and the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES)

Am J Public Health. 1988 Aug;78(8):910-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.78.8.910.


Associations between psychosocial job characteristics and past myocardial infarction (MI) prevalence for employed males were tested with the Health Examination Survey (HES) 1960-61, N = 2,409, and the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES) 1971-75, N = 2,424. A new estimation method is used which imputes to census occupation codes, job characteristic information from national surveys of job characteristics (US Department of Labor, Quality of Employment Surveys). Controlling for age, we find that employed males with jobs which are simultaneously low in decision latitude and high in psychological work load (a multiplicative product term isolating 20 per cent of the population) have a higher prevalence of myocardial infarction in both data bases. In a logistic regression analysis, using job measures adjusted for demographic factors and controlling for age, race, education, systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol, smoking (HANES only), and physical exertion, we find a low decision latitude/high psychological demand multiplicative product term associated with MI in both data bases. Additional multiple logistic regressions show that low decision latitude is associated with increased prevalence of MI in both the HES and the HANES. Psychological workload and physical exertion are significant only in the HANES.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Decision Making
  • Employment*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / psychology
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • United States