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1.  Job strain and lifestyle factors 
PMCID: PMC3883829  PMID: 24396125
2.  Associations of Work Hours with Carotid Intima Media Thickness and Ankle-Brachial Index: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Long working hours may be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective was to investigate cross-sectional associations of work hours with carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and ankle brachial index (ABI).
Participants were 1,694 women and 1,868 men from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. CIMT and ABI were measured using standard protocols. Information on work hours was obtained from questionnaires. Mean values of CIMT and ABI were examined across five categories of hours worked per week (≤20, 21-39, 40, 41-50, >50) using ANOVA/ANCOVA. P-values for trend were obtained from linear regression models.
Mean age of participants was 56.9±8.4 years; 52.4% were men. Distinct patterns of association between work hours and the subclinical CVD biomarkers were found for women and men, although this heterogeneity by gender was not statistically significant. Among women only, work hours were positively associated with common (but not internal) CIMT (p=0.073) after full risk factor adjustment. Compared to women working 40 hours, those working >50 hours were more likely to have an ABI <1 (vs. 1-1.4) (OR=1.85, 95% CI=1.01-3.38). In men, work hours and ABI were inversely associated (p=0.046). There was some evidence that the association between work hours and ABI was modified by occupational category (interaction p=0.061). Among persons classified as Management/Professionals, longer work hours was associated with lower ABI (p=0.015). No significant associations were observed among other occupational groups.
Working longer hours may be associated with subclinical CVD. These associations should be investigated using longitudinal studies.
PMCID: PMC4084707  PMID: 22767870
Atherosclerosis; carotid artery stenosis; ankle-brachial index; work
3.  Factorial invariance, scale reliability, and construct validity of the job control and job demands scales for immigrant workers: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Immigrants have a different social context from those who stay in their home country or those who were born to the country that immigrants now live. Cultural theory of risk perception suggests that social context influences one’s interpretation of questionnaire items. We examined psychometric properties of job control and job demand scales with US- and foreign-born workers who preferred English, Spanish, or Chinese (n=3114, mean age=58.1). Across all groups, the job control scale had acceptable Cronbach’s alpha (0.78–0.83) and equivalent factor loadings (ΔCFI<0.01). Immigrants had low alpha (0.42–0.65) for the job demands scale regardless of language, education, or age of migration. Two job-demand items had different factor loadings across groups. Among immigrants, both scales had inconsistent associations with perceived job stress and self-rated health. For a better understanding of immigrants’ job stress, the concept of job demands should be expanded and immigrants’ expectations for job control explored. (149/150 limit)
PMCID: PMC4068014  PMID: 20582720
job stress; factor analysis; internal consistency; acculturation; health disparities
4.  Current employment status, occupational category, occupational hazard exposure, and job stress in relation to telomere length: The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Telomere length has been proposed as a biomarker of cell senescence, which is associated with a wide array of adverse health outcomes. While work is a major determinant of health, few studies have investigated the association of telomere length with various dimensions of occupation. Accelerated cellular aging could be a common pathway linking occupational exposure to several health outcomes.
Leukocyte telomere length was assessed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) in a community-based sample of 981 individuals (age: 45–84 years old). Questionnaires were used to collect information on current employment status, current or main occupation before retirement, and job strain. The O*NET (Occupational Resource Network) database was linked to the questionnaire data to create 5 exposure measures: physical activity on the job, physical hazard exposure, interpersonal stressors, job control, and job demands. Linear regression was used to estimate associations of occupational characteristics with telomere lengths after adjustment for age, sex, race, socioeconomic position, and several behavioral risk factors.
There were no mean differences in telomere lengths across current employment status, occupational category, job strain categories or levels of most O*NET exposure measures. There was also no evidence that being in lower status occupational categories or being exposed to higher levels of adverse physical or psychosocial exposures accelerated the association between age and telomere shortening.
Cellular aging as reflected by shorter telomeres does not appear to be an important pathway linking occupation to various health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4068015  PMID: 23686115
5.  The Influence of Domestic Overload on the Association between Job Strain and Ambulatory Blood Pressure among Female Nursing Workers 
Evidence suggests that the workplace plays an important etiologic role in blood pressure (BP) alterations. Associations in female samples are controversial, and the domestic environment is hypothesized to be an important factor in this relationship. This study assessed the association between job strain and BP within a sample of female nursing workers, considering the potential role of domestic overload. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a group of 175 daytime workers who wore an ambulatory BP monitor for 24 h during a working day. Mean systolic and diastolic BP were calculated. Job strain was evaluated using the Demand-Control Model. Domestic overload was based on the level of responsibility in relation to four household tasks and on the number of beneficiaries. After adjustments no significant association between high job strain and BP was detected. Stratified analyses revealed that women exposed to both domestic overload and high job strain had higher systolic BP at home. These results indicate a possible interaction between domestic overload and job strain on BP levels and revealed the importance of domestic work, which is rarely considered in studies of female workers.
PMCID: PMC3881121  PMID: 24287860
blood pressure; ambulatory; job strain; women; work; gender; health
6.  Occupational gradients in smoking behavior and exposure to workplace environmental tobacco smoke: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
This study examines associations of occupation with smoking status, amount smoked among current- and former-smokers (number of cigarettes/day and lifetime cigarette consumption (pack-years)), and workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) independent from income and education.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from a community sample (n=6355, age range: 45–84) using logistic and multinomial regression. All analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for socio-demographic variables.
Male blue-collar and sales/office workers had higher odds of having consumed >20 pack-years of cigarettes than managers/professionals. For both male and female current- or former-smokers, exposure to workplace ETS was consistently and strongly associated with heavy smoking and greater pack-years.
Blue-collar workplaces are associated with intense smoking and ETS exposure. Smoking must be addressed at both the individual- and workplace-levels especially in blue-collar workplaces.
PMCID: PMC3275688  PMID: 22261926
7.  Preventing Chronic Disease At the Workplace: A Workshop Report and Recommendations 
American Journal of Public Health  2011;101(Suppl 1):S196-S207.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Worksites provide a venue to address risk factors and conditions at work through health promotion aimed at improving individual health behaviors, health protection including occupational safety and health interventions, and efforts to support the interface between work and family. In response to the importance of preventing chronic disease at worksites, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a workshop to identify research priorities to advance knowledge and implementation of effective strategies to reduce chronic disease risk. Workshop participants outlined a conceptual framework and corresponding research agenda to address chronic disease prevention through integrating health promotion and health protection in the workplace.
PMCID: PMC3222510  PMID: 21778485
8.  Exploring Occupational and Behavioral Risk Factors for Obesity in Firefighters: A Theoretical Framework and Study Design 
Safety and Health at Work  2011;2(4):301-312.
Firefighters and police officers have the third highest prevalence of obesity among 41 male occupational groups in the United States (US). However, few studies have examined the relationship of firefighter working conditions and health behaviors with obesity. This paper presents a theoretical framework describing the relationship between working conditions, health behaviors, and obesity in firefighters. In addition, the paper describes a detailed study plan for exploring the role of occupational and behavioral risk factors in the development of obesity in firefighters enrolled in the Orange County Fire Authority Wellness Fitness Program. The study plan will be described with emphasis on its methodological merits: adopting a participatory action research approach, developing a firefighter-specific work and health questionnaire, conducting both a cross-sectional epidemiological study using the questionnaire and a sub-study to assess the validity of the questionnaire with dietary intake and physical activity measures, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the body mass index as an obesity measure in comparison to skinfold-based percent body fat. The study plan based on a theoretical framework can be an essential first step for establishing effective intervention programs for obesity among professional and voluntary firefighters.
PMCID: PMC3430916  PMID: 22953214
Obesity; Firefighter; Occupations; Behavior
9.  Associations of occupation, job control and job demands with intima-media thickness: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Occupation has been linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence and mortality, but few studies have investigated occupation in relation to early atherosclerotic disease. This study examined associations between various occupational characteristics and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in a multi-ethnic sample.
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) recruited 6814 adults aged 45e84 years and free of clinical CVD (response rate 60%, 51% female). Questionnaire data were used to determine occupational group (managerial/professional, sales/office, service, blue-collar), psychosocial job characteristics (ie, job demands, job control) and other sociodemographic information.
Common carotid artery (CCA)-IMT was greater for blue-collar jobs than for management/professional jobs (mean difference=0.012 mm, p=0.049) after adjustment for age, sex, race, place of birth (US or foreign born) and CVD risk factors. Compared to management/professional jobs, internal carotid artery (ICA)-IMT was greater for sales/office, service and blue-collar jobs (mean difference=0.071 mm, p<0.001; 0.057 mm, p=0.009; and 0.110 mm, p<0.001, respectively) after adjustment for age, sex, race and place of birth. The difference between blue-collar jobs and management/professional jobs remained significant after additional adjustment for CVD risk factors, income and education (mean difference=0.048 mm, p=0.045). Higher levels of control at work were associated with thinner CCA-IMT (mean difference=‒0.009 mm, p=0.016, adjusted for age, sex, race and place of birth) but not with ICA-IMT. Job demands had no significant association with IMT.
Blue-collar jobs and low levels of job control were associated with the development of subclinical atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3073024  PMID: 20935285
10.  A gender approach to work ability and its relationship to professional and domestic work hours among nursing personnel 
Applied ergonomics  2008;39(5):646-652.
The association between working hours and work ability was examined in a cross sectional study of male (N=156) and female (N=1092) nurses in three public hospitals. Working hours were considered in terms of their professional and domestic hours per week and their combined impact; total work load. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between total work load and inadequate work ability index (WAI) for females only. Females reported a higher proportion of inadequate WAI, fewer professional work hours but longer domestic work hours. There were no significant differences in total work load by gender. The combination of professional and domestic work hours in females seemed to best explain their lower work ability. The findings suggest that investigations into female well-being need to consider their total work load. Our male sample may have lacked sufficient power to detect a relationship between working hours and work ability.
PMCID: PMC2533702  PMID: 18405878
paid work; unpaid work; long work hours; work load; work ability; women’s work

Results 1-10 (10)