Objectives: To examine the association between a model of chronic work stress (high efforts in combination with low rewards) and two risk factors of coronary heart disease, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and fibrinogen.
Design: A cross-sectional study in a group of 179 healthy middle-aged (48.5 +/- 4.5) male middle managers.
Setting: A large car-producing enterprise in Germany.
Results: After adjustment for relevant covariates, logistic regression analysis showed independent effects of a composite measure of high effort and low reward at work on the prevalence of elevated (upper tertile, i.e. > or = 160 mg dL-1) LDL-cholesterol (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 3.57; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.24-10.20) and on elevated (upper quintile, i.e. > or = 420 mg dL-1) plasma fibrinogen (POR = 6.71 (CI: 1.57-28.76). Apart from this core measure, cigarette smoking, overweight and alcohol consumption were the covariates with the relatively strongest contributions to the multivariate model.
Conclusions: Results give preliminary evidence on an independent association of chronic work stress with atherogenic lipids and with elevated fibrinogen in an occupationally homogeneous group of healthy middle-aged men.