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Title: Overcommitment to work is associated with changes in cardiac sympathetic regulation
Author(s): T.G.M. Vrijkotte, L.J.P. van Doornen and E.J.C. de Geus
Journal: Psychosomatic Medicine
Year: 2004
Volume: 66
Issue: 5
Pages: 656--663
Publisher address: Acad Med Ctr, Dept Publ Hlth & Epidemiol, NL-1100 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands Acad Med Ctr, Dept Social Med, NL-1100 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands Univ Utrecht, Dept Hlth Psychol, NL-3508 TC Utrecht, Netherlands Vrije Univ Amsterdam, Dept Biol Psychol, NL-1
ISSN: 0033-3174
File URL: vuams-pubs/Vrijkotte_2004.pdf
Keywords: ACUTE MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION, AMBULATORY BLOOD-PRESSURE, ambulatory impedance cardiogram, AMBULATORY MONITORING, BETA-ADRENERGIC INFLUENCES, cardiovascular, cardiovascular reactivity, CATECHOLAMINE RESPONSES, Disease, Down-Regulation, Drive, IMPEDANCE CARDIOGRAPHY, ionotropic cardiac regulation, ISCHEMIC-HEART-DISEASE, LEVEL, Male, methods, NERVOUS-SYSTEM, Netherlands, pre-ejection period, PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, REACTIVITY, recovery, Reward, Risk, Stress, sympathetic activity, SYSTOLIC-TIME INTERVALS, Time, VARIABILITIES, VARIABILITY, Work, work stress
Abstract: Objective: Work stress is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to work-related stressors or incomplete recovery after work is a proposed mechanism underlying this increase in risk. This study examined the effects of work stress on 24-hour profiles of the pre-ejection period (PEP), a measure of cardiac sympathetic activity, obtained from ambulatory measurement of the impedance cardiogram. Methods: A total of 67 male white-collar workers (age 47.1 +/- 5.2) underwent ambulatory monitoring on 2 workdays and I non-workday. Work stress was defined according to Siegrist's model as 1) a combination of high effort and low reward at work (high imbalance) or 2) an exhaustive work-related coping style (high overcommitment). Results: High overcommitment was associated with shorter absolute PEP levels during all periods on all 3 measurement days, reduced wake-to-sleep PEP differences and reduced PEP variability, as indexed by the SD. Conclusions: Overcommitment to work was associated with an increase in basal sympathetic drive and a reduction in the dynamic range of cardiac sympathetic regulation. Both findings are compatible with the hypothesis that overcommitment induces beta-receptor down-regulation

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