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Prevalence of Job Stress, General Health Profile and Hypertension among Professionals in the Information Technology Sector in Bengaluru, India


We, systematically reviewed studies on hypertension among working populations and synthesized the evidence and performed a meta-analysis to answer the question - Is job stress associated with hypertension. The meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed using STATA version 10. Pooled odds ratios were combined together for over all estimates. The Initial search identified 1020, out of which only 17 studies had sufficient information to allow meta-analysis for pooled estimates. The pooled odds ratios infer that job stress is associated with Hypertension, although not statistically significant for cross-sectional and cohort studies.

We conducted both qualitative and a cross sectional studies among professionals working in the I.T and ITES sector in India. The qualitative study included 32 in-depth interviews exploring several risk factors and the health status of the professionals. The results from qualitative study indicate the presence of nine stress domains; job control, autonomy, time pressure, length of experience in industry, night shifts, income, appreciation of work, physical environment, work-environment and emotional factors.

In the cross sectional study, 1071 volunteers completed self-administered questionnaires containing details about job stress (contextual stress domains), musculoskeletal symptoms (Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire), quality of life (WHOQOL BREF) and sexual behaviors. Further, we took anthropometric measurements and blood pressure. Our study estimated the prevalence of Job stress and its association with Hypertension, quality of life, musculoskeletal symptoms and sexual behaviors.

Our results indicate that 31% of the participants were hypertensive with 5% having stage 2-hypertension. Adjusted regression estimates indicate that subjects with autonomy related stress and higher work environment related stresses were found to have higher odds of having Hypertension. The proportion of IT/ITES workers who had irregular sexual partners was 8% (out of 884) and multiple partners was 5% (out of 914). Among the 964 workers who answered the question, only 4% reported having paid sex in the last 3 months. Among 619 participants who responded to the condom usage question, 74.3% reported not using a condom during their last vaginal intercourse with their wife/husband/regular partner. All the domains (physical, psychological, social and environmental) of quality of life showed statistically significant positive associations with increasing stress domains of autonomy, physical infrastructure, work environment and emotional factors.

Understanding the prevalence's of job stress and other risk factors within this specialized workforce and its association with health parameters can help to prevent morbidity related complications. Identification of risk profiles in this workforce can guide worksite interventions to prevent debilitating conditions thereby improving the health and productivity of the workforce.

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