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Work time and 11-year progression of carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged finnish men

  • Author(s): Krause, N
  • Brand, RJ
  • Kauhanen, J
  • Kaplan, GA
  • Leonard Syme, S
  • Wong, CC
  • Salonen, JT
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Studies of the relationship between work time and health have been inconclusive. Consequently, we sought to examine the effect of work time on progression of atherosclerosis. Methods: This prospective study of 621 middle-aged Finnish men evaluated effects of baseline and repeat measures of work time on 11-year progression of ultrasonographically assessed carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and interactions with cardiovascular disease. Multiple linear regression models adjusted for 21 biological, behavioral, and psychosocial risk factors. Results: Working 3 (minimum), 5 (medium), or 7 (maximum) days per week at baseline was associated with 23%, 31%, and 40% 11-year increases in IMT, respectively. The relative change ratio (RCR) at maximum vs minimum was 1.14 for baseline days worked per week and 1.10 for hours worked per year of follow-up. Significant interactions existed between cardiovascular disease and work time. Men with ischemic heart disease (IHD) who worked the maximum of 14.5 hours per day experienced a 69% increase in IMT compared with a 29% increase in men without IHD. The RCR ratio for IHD (RCRIHD/RCRno IHD) was 1.44 for hours per day. Similarly, the RCR ratio for baseline carotid artery stenosis was 1.29 for hours per day and 1.22 for hours per year. Conclusions: Increases in work time are positively associated with progression of carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged men, especially in those with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Our findings are consistent with the hemodynamic theory of atherosclerosis.

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