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Journal: Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health

173

Blunted nighttime blood pressure dipping is an established cardiovascular risk factor. This study examined the effect of job strain on nighttime blood pressure dipping among men and women with high blood pressure.

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Blood pressure, Orthostatic hypotension

27

Procedural justice perceptions are shown to be associated with minor psychiatric disorders, long sickness absence spells, and poor self-rated health, but previous studies have rarely considered how changes in procedural justice influence changes in health.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Change, Psychiatry, Justice

26

This study examines whether precarious employment increases the risk of serious psychological distress (SPD) in a nationally representative cohort of Japanese middle-aged people.

Concepts: Cohort study

21

Objectives This cross-sectional study investigated the associations between office type (cellular, shared-room, small open-plan, and medium-sized open-plan) and employees' ease of interaction with coworkers, subjective well-being, and job satisfaction. Methods A brief survey including measures of office type, ease of interaction with coworkers, subjective well-being, and job satisfaction was sent electronically to 1500 Swedish real-estate agents, 271 of whom returned usable surveys. The data were analyzed using a regression-based serial multiple mediation model (PROCESS Model 6), which tested whether the relationship between office type and job satisfaction would be mediated by ease of interaction and, in turn, subjective well-being. Results A negative relationship was found between the number of coworkers sharing an office and employees' job satisfaction. This association was serially mediated by ease of interaction with coworkers and subjective well-being, with employees working in small and medium-sized open-plan offices reporting lower levels of both these aspects than employees who work in either cellular or shared-room offices. Conclusions Open-plan offices may have short-term financial benefits, but these benefits may be lower than the costs associated with decreased job satisfaction and well-being. Therefore, decision-makers should consider the impact of office type on employees rather than focusing solely on cost-effective office layout, flexibility, and productivity.

Concepts: Cross-sectional study, Office, Open plan

21

Objective Insufficient time for recovery between workdays may cause fatigue and disturbed sleep. This study evaluated the impact of an intervention that reduced weekly working hours by 25% on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress for employees within the public sector. Method Participating workplaces (N=33) were randomized into intervention and control groups. Participants (N=580, 76% women) worked full-time at baseline. The intervention group (N=354) reduced worktime to 75% with preserved salary during 18 months. Data were collected at baseline and after 9 and 18 months follow-up. Sleep quality, sleep duration, sleepiness, perceived stress,and worries, and stress at bedtime were measured with diary during one week per data collection. Result A multilevel mixed model showed that compared with the control group, at the 18-month follow-up, the intervention group had improved sleep quality and sleep duration (+23 minutes) and displayed reduced levels of sleepiness, perceived stress and worries, and stress at bedtime on workdays (P<0.002). The same effects were shown for days off (P<0.006), except for sleep length. Effect sizes were small (Cohen's f2<0.08). Adding gender, age, having children living at home, and baseline values of sleep quality and worries and stress at bedtime as additional between-group factors did not influence the results. Conclusion A 25% reduction of weekly work hours with retained salary resulted in beneficial effects on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress both on workdays and days off. These effects were maintained over an 18-month period. This randomized intervention thus indicates that reduced worktime may improve recovery and perceived stress.

Concepts: Controlling for a variable, Scientific control, Scientific method, Sleep, Stress, Fatigue, Somnolence, Result

17

Objectives We investigated the association of shift and night work with the incidence of prostate cancer using data of the population-based prospective Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study from the highly industrialized Ruhr area in Germany. Methods Participants of the baseline survey were recruited between 2000-2003. A follow-up survey including, a detailed interview on shift and night work, was conducted from 2011-2014. We included 1757 men who did not report a history of prostate cancer at baseline. We assessed shift- and night-work exposure up to time of the baseline interview. Incident prostate cancers were recorded from baseline through September 2014. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) of shift- and night-work exposure using Cox proportional hazards regression with age at event as timescale, adjusting for smoking status, family history of prostate cancer, education (≤13, 14-17, ≥18 years), and equivalent income (low, medium, high). Results We observed a twofold increased HR for prostate cancer among shift and night workers. Ever employment in shift work was associated with HR 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43-3.67 and night work with HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.42-3.64. HR increased steadily with duration of employment in shift or night work. Stratifying analyses by preferred midpoint of sleep, yielded strongly elevated HR among subjects with early sleep preference, although these analyses were limited by small number of cases. Conclusions We identified increased risks for prostate cancer among men with employment in shift or night work. HR were strongly elevated among long-term employed shift workers and men with early preferred midpoint of sleep.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Employment, Shift work

14

Objectives This study investigated the association between organizational downsizing and purchases of prescribed drugs by private sector employees in Norway. Methods A natural experiment was constructed using individual-level employer and employee data linked to the national prescription database for the period 2004-2012. The study population comprised 144 089 employees who had been exposed to major downsizing in the same period. Random effects logistic regression models were used to investigate relative changes in drug purchases (antidepressants, hypnotics/sedatives, anxiolytics, and anti-psychotics, as well as anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, cardiovascular, and thyroid drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, and analgesics/antipyretics) in the five-year-period before and after exposure to downsizing. Results Compared with the situation three years before exposure, the odds ratios (OR) of purchasing psychotropic drugs one year after exposure increased for antidepressants (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.34-1.55), hypnotics/sedatives (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.29-1.49), anxiolytics (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.22-1.43), and antipsychotics (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.19-1.52). Similar associations were found for cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, and thyroid drugs. Stratified analyses showed that the odds of purchasing psychotropic, anti-diabetic, and cardiovascular drugs in the years around downsizing was more pronounced in men compared with women. Elevated odds were also found for employees in the oldest age group and those with less than tertiary education. Conclusions Exposure to organizational downsizing increased the odds of purchasing prescribed psychotropic, cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, and thyroid drugs. The clinical implications of these results might be systematic involvement from medical personnel and occupational health services in workforce reduction processes.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logit, Drug, Opioid, Morphine, Psychoactive drug, Recreational drug use, Logistics

13

This study investigated whether self-reported psychological distress and depressive and burnout symptoms were associated with cortisol concentrations among workers.

Concepts: Psychology

11

Objectives The aims of this study are to (i) investigate the impact of paid employment on self-rated health, self-esteem, mastery, and happiness among previously unemployed persons with common mental health problems, and (ii) determine whether there are educational inequalities in these effects. Methods A quasi-experimental study was performed with a two-year follow-up period among unemployed persons with mental health problems. Eligible participants were identified at the social services departments of five cities in The Netherlands when being diagnosed with a common mental disorder, primarily depression and anxiety disorders, in the past 12 months by a physician (N=749). Employment status (defined as paid employment for ≥12 hours/week), mental health [Short Form 12 (SF-12)], physical health (SF-12), self-esteem, mastery, and happiness were measured at baseline, after 12 months and 24 months. The repeated-measurement longitudinal data were analyzed using a hybrid method, combining fixed and random effects. The regression coefficient was decomposed into between- and within-individual associations, respectively. Results The between-individuals associations showed that persons working ≥12 hours per week reported better mental health (b=26.7, SE 5.1), mastery (b=2.7, SE 0.6), self-esteem (b=5.7, SE 1.1), physical health (b=14.6, SE 5.6) and happiness (OR 7.7, 95% CI 2.3-26.4). The within-individual associations showed that entering paid employment for ≥12 hours per week resulted in better mental health (b=16.3, SE 3.4), mastery (b=1.7, SE 0.4), self-esteem (b=3.4, SE 0.7), physical health (b=9.8, SE 2.9), and happiness (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.4-6.9). Among intermediate- and high-educated persons, entering paid employment had significantly larger effect on mental health than among low-educated persons. Conclusions This study provides evidence that entering paid employment has a positive impact on self-reported health; thus work should be considered as an important part of health promotion programs among unemployed persons.

Concepts: Medicine, Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Mental disorder, Nursing, Positive psychology, Personal life, Health promotion

11

DAS was an artificial clay which, once molded, hardened at room temperature. It was largely used as a toy between 1963 and 1975 in Italy, Netherlands, Germany, UK and Norway. This short communication describes and reports the presence of asbestos in DAS.

Concepts: European Union, Germany, NATO