Associations between the effort-reward imbalance model of workplace stress and indices of cardiovascular health: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Work stress can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 50%, with increasing research focusing on the underlying mechanisms responsible for these associations. Our meta-analysis assessed the associations of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) workplace stress model with indices of cardiovascular disease. The search term ‘effort*reward*imbalance’ produced 22 papers (129 associations, N = 93,817) meeting inclusion criteria. Greater ERI was most associated with increased hypertension (r = 0.26, p < 0.001, N = 1180), intima media thickness (r = 0.23, p < .001, N = 828) and fibrinogen (r = 0.13, p = 0.03, N = 4315). Trait over-commitment was most associated with increased hypertension (r = 0.24, p =0.02, N = 899) and intima media thickness (r = 0.19, p = 0.02, N = 828). Interventions aimed at reducing the impact of ERI and over-commitment on cardiovascular disease should consider concurrently assessing changes in physiological markers of cardiovascular disease.

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