Karoshi, or work-related cardiovascular death is now a serious social problem in China, which is a very large and rapidly growing market. Many Japanese are now working in China. The relationship between work stress and cardiovascular risks of Japanese working in China remains to be elucidated.Design and Method:
We compared job stress and blood pressures, lipids and glucose profiles between 147 Japanese (39 ± 9 yrs, 63 % men) working in Shanghai and 147 Chinese workers matched for age, gender and job category based on propensity score. Job demand and job control were quantified using the NIOSH questionnaire and were categorized as low and high according to the median. We defined quartered variables for job stress; low strain (low demand and high control), passive (low demand and low control), active (high demand and high control) and high strain (high demand and low control). Relationship between job stress and cardiovascular risks were examined by logistic regression analysis.Results:
Job demand score was significantly higher in Japanese than in Chinese (12.4 ± 2.8 vs. 10.4 ± 3.8, p < 0.001) while job control score was similar (51.6 ± 10.6 vs. 49.4 ± 13.3). Among several cardiovascular risks, only low density lipoprotein (LDL) concentration was significantly higher in Japanese than in Chinese (3.2 ± 0.8 vs. 2.8 ± 0.7 mmol/L, p < 0.001). LDL was significantly different among different job stress categories in Japanese while it was similar among 4 job stress categories in Chinese. Active group showed significantly higher odds ratio for high LDL (>3.63 mmol/L) compared with passive group (OR 4.20: 95%CI 1.31–13.53) after adjustments for covariates in Japanese.Conclusions:
Job stress was associated with higher LDL in Japanese working in Shanghai.