Psychosocial work characteristics predict cardiovascular disease risk factors and health functioning in rural women: The Wisconsin Rural Women's Health Study

Vatsal Chikani, Douglas Reding, Paul Gunderson, Catherine A. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The aim of the present study is to investigate the association between psychosocial work characteristics and health functioning and cardiovascular disease risk factors among rural women of central Wisconsin and compare psychosocial work characteristics between farm and nonfarm women. Methods: Stratified sampling was used to select a random sample (n = 1500) of farm and nonfarm women aged 25 to 71 years from the Central Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area. The baseline examination included measurements of blood pressure, height, weight, and fasting blood lipids, glucose, and insulin. Psychosocial job condition was measured with the Karasek Job Content Questionnaires (JCQ). Health functioning was assessed by the Short Form-36 Health Survey. Results: The analysis of JCQ showed that nonfarm residents were more likely to have jobs with high demand and high decision latitude compared to farm residents. Also, the farm residents (40.3%) were more likely to be occupied in passive jobs (jobs with low levels of demand and control) than the nonfarm residents (26.9%). Among farm residents, psychological job demand was associated with HDL level (β = 0.17), triglycerides (β - 0.0), their ratio (β = 0.005), and blood insulin level (β = 0.014), and among nonfarm residents, psychological job demand was associated with diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.17) and total cholesterol level (β = 0.002). Conclusion: Our results showed that rural farm residents had a higher prevalence of CVD risk factors and were more likely to be occupied in jobs with low levels of demand and control. Job stress predicted more CVD risk factors among farm residents compared to nonfarm residents. Therefore, interventions reducing job strain among rural farm residents are timely and necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

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