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Work and diet-related risk factors of cardiovascular diseases: comparison of two occupational groups

Author(s): Hartung Danielle | Stadeler Martina | Grieshaber Romano | Keller Sylvia | Jahreis Gerhard

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Although work related risk factors associated with Cardiovascular Diseases (CD) have been well researched, there is no detailed knowledge regarding disparate occupational groups each with a different risk exposition. Therefore, two occupational groups (chefs and office workers) were compared with a focus on nutritional and psychosocial factors. Methods Two groups of subjects were tested for work and diet-related risks of CD (45 chefs and 48 office workers). The groups matched both for gender (male) and age (30 to 45 years). The study included a medical check-up, bioelectrical impedance analysis as well as an evaluation of questionnaires on health, nutritional behaviour and coping capacity. In addition, volunteers were required to compile a 7-day-dietary-record and collect their urine 24 h prior to their check-up. Blood samples drawn were analysed for glucose and lipid metabolism, homocysteine, vitamin B12, folic acid; C-reactive protein, uric acid, red blood cell fatty acids, plant sterols, antioxidative capacity and oxidative stress. Results On average, the chefs showed one risk factor more compared to the office workers. The most frequent risk factors in both groups included overweight/obesity (chef group [CG]: 62.2%; office group [OG]: 58.3%) and elevated TC (CG: 62.2%; OG: 43.8%]. Moreover, although the chefs often had higher CRP-concentrations (40.0%), more office workers suffered from hypertension (37.5%). Chefs showed significant higher concentrations of saturated fatty acids and oleic acid, whereas docosahexaenoic acid, Omega-6- and trans fatty acids were found more frequently in the red blood cell membranes of office workers. While there were no significant differences in analysed plant sterols between the two occupational groups, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine was significantly increased in office workers. Concerning the work-related psychosocial factors, the chefs were characterised by a stronger subjective importance of work, a greater degree of professional aspiration and enhanced efforts at perfectionism at their workplace. Conclusions The chefs in the study bear a higher risk of CD compared to the office-workers. Although, CD is not exclusively a result of workplace-conditions, study results show that work-related influences can not be ignored. Thus, prevention of CD may be an important task attributable to occupational physicians.
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