STUDY OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between job characteristics and plasma fibrinogen concentrations. DESIGN: Cross sectional design. SETTING: The Greater Stockholm area. SUBJECTS: A total of 1018 men and 490 women aged 45-70 who were randomly selected from the general population during 1992-1994. They were all employed and had no history of myocardial infarction. MAIN RESULTS: The self reported job characteristics were measured by a Swedish version of the Karasek demand-control questionnaire. For inferred scoring of job characteristics, psychosocial exposure categories (job control and psychological demands) were assigned by linking each subject's occupational history with a work organisation exposure matrix. Job strain was defined as the ratio between demands and control. In univariate analyses, expected linear trends were found in three of four tests of association between high plasma fibrinogen and low control (the self reported score for women and the inferred score for both sexes), in one of four tests of association between high plasma fibrinogen and high demands (the inferred score for women) and in two of four tests of association between high plasma fibrinogen and job strain (the inferred score for both sexes). Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that men in the inferred job strain group have an increased risk of falling into the increased plasma fibrinogen concentration group (above median level of the distribution) (odds ratio (OR) 1.2; 95% CI 1.0, 1.5) after adjustment for the variables that were associated with plasma fibrinogen in the univariate analyses. In women, low self reported control, high inferred demand, and inferred job strain were significantly associated with increased plasma fibrinogen concentration (OR 1.3; 95% CI 1.0, 1.8, OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.0, 2.2, OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.1, 2.2, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that adverse job characteristics may be related to plasma fibrinogen concentrations and this relation is more relevant in female workers. The clearest evidence for psychosocial effects on plasma fibrinogen seems to be with job control and the associations are clearer for the objective than for the self report variables.
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