Psychosocial job exposure and risk of coronary artery calcification

PLoS One. 2021 May 25;16(5):e0252192. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252192. eCollection 2021.


Purpose: The aim was to examine potential associations between psychosocial job exposures, evaluated with the Job Demand-Control-model, and presence of coronary artery calcium.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study using the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study,(SCAPIS)pilot study. Coronary artery calcium was assessed through computed tomography of the coronary arteries and with coronary artery scoring, CACS. Main outcome was CACS ≥100 compared to CACS 0. Job demand and control was analysed according to the standard categorization of the two variables into: high strain, active, passive and low strain (reference). Associations between these variables and CACS were calculated with prevalence ratios (PR) using Cox regression with robust variance, 95% confidence intervals (CI) and adjusted for age, smoking, education, socioeconomic area and metabolic syndrome.

Results: In total 777 participants were used in our analyses, for which 20% of the men and 5% of the women had CACS ≥100, respectively. The PR of having CACS ≥100 was non-significantly elevated for men in high strain jobs 1.54 (95% CI 0.88-2.69) and in active jobs 1.67 (95% CI 0.92-3.06), adjusted for covariates. For women there was no association between exposure to high strain and having CACS ≥100 PR 1.02 (95% CI 0.24-4.31). Among women reporting passive job, the PR was non-significantly elevated, 2.40 (95% CI 0.83-6.92), adjusted for covariates.

Conclusion: The statistical power of the study was limited, but our results suggests the possibility that exposure to a high strain or an active job situation may increase the risk of CACS in men, while in women, it may rather be exposure to passive job.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Socioeconomic Factors

Grant support

SCAPIS is financially supported by the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation. There is no grant number for this support. AR received funding from AFA insurance grant number 16-0334. KT received funding from AFA insurance grant number 140624. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.