Occupational Determinants of Cardiovascular Disorders Including Stroke

  • Töres TheorellEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS, volume 1)


This review builds firstly on summaries of high-quality studies between 1985 and 2018 of the relationship between organizational and psychosocial exposures on one hand and ischemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke on the other hand. Secondly, a similar review was made of scientific studies of the relationship between exposure to chemicals at work on one hand and IHD and stroke on the other hand.

There was moderately strong to limited evidence for a significant relationship between job strain, small decision latitude, iso-strain, effort-reward imbalance, low support, lack of justice, lack of skill discretion, insecure employment, night work, long working week, and noise on one hand and increased IHD risk on the other hand. For chemicals, it was shown that job exposure to quartz dust, motor exhaust smoke, welding, benzo-a-pyrene, plumb, dynamite, carbon disulfide, carbon monoxide, liquids for cutting metal, phenoxy acids, asbestos, and tobacco smoking increases IHD risk. Stroke has not been examined to the same extent as IHD, so the evidence is still less convincing although for some exposures the same findings were made as for IHD.

Conclusion: Many types of job exposure may accelerate the onset of cardiovascular disease. For some factors the scientific evidence is on level three on a four-graded scale. There is need for more studies of combined effects of psychosocial and chemical risk factors on cardiovascular risk. There is also need for evaluations of interventions in the psychosocial field. In the chemical and physical exposure field, decreased exposure constitutes the intervention!


Ischemic heart disease Stroke Psychosocial work conditions Chemical job exposure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stress Research InstituteStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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