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Associations Between Dimensions of Job Stress and Biomarkers of Inflammation and Infection

Clays, Els MSc; De Bacquer, Dirk PhD; Delanghe, Joris PhD; Kittel, France PhD; Van Renterghem, Lieve MSc; De Backer, Guy PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2005 - Volume 47 - Issue 9 - p 878-883
doi: 10.1097/
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine associations between dimensions of job stress and indicators of chronic inflammation and infection.

Methods: Within a subsample from the BELSTRESS study of 892 male subjects free of cardiovascular disease, dimensions of job stress from the job demand–control–support model were related to biomarkers of inflammation (plasma fibrinogen concentrations, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A) and infection (titers against Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus, and Helicobacter pylori).

Results: A negative association was found between job control and plasma fibrinogen concentration, independent from age, education, occupation, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, and use of lipid-lowering and antihypertensive medication. Higher social support at work was independently related to an increased risk of positive titers against cytomegalovirus.

Conclusions: Results confirm previous findings regarding elevated plasma fibrinogen and low job control.

From the Departments of Public Health (Mrs Clays, Dr De Bacquer, Dr De Backer) and Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology (Dr Delanghe, Mrs Van Rentgerghem), Ghent University, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; and the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium (Dr Kittel).

This study was supported by the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labor and Social Dialogue, and the European Social Fund.

Els Clays has no financial interest related to this article.

Address correspondence to: Els Clays, MSc, Ghent University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Department of Public Health, UZ–(2)Blok A, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium; E-mail:

©2005The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine