2010 Volume 25 Pages 19-22
Psychosocial stresses at work, such as high work demands, low control, or low levels of job hierarchy, are independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Underlying mechanisms for this relationship include high blood pressure or disturbances in glucose metabolism caused by work-related stress. In the past ten years, metabolic syndrome has become a key factor for developing cardiovascular diseases via accelerating arthrosclerosis. Psychosocial stresses at work facilitate the accumulation of visceral fat through stimulating the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis and elevating cortisol, thus causing metabolic syndrome. In this paper, epidemiological studies which have examined the relationships between psychosocial stresses at work and metabolic syndrome, and the role of cortisol in these relationships, is introduced.