Work stress may increase cardiovascular risk either indirectly, by inducing unhealthy life styles, or directly, by affecting the autonomic nervous system and arterial pressure. We hypothesized that, before any apparent sign of disease, work-related stress is already accompanied by alterations of RR variability profile and that a simple onsite stress management program based on cognitive restructuring and relaxation training could reduce the level of stress symptoms, revert stress-related autonomic nervous system dysregulation, and lower arterial pressure. We compared 91 white-collar workers, enrolled at a time of work downsizing (hence, in a stress condition), with 79 healthy control subjects. Psychological profiles were assessed by questionnaires and autonomic nervous system regulation by spectral analysis of RR variability. We also tested a simple onsite stress management program (cognitive restructuring and relaxation training) in a subgroup of workers compared with a sham subgroup (sham program). Workers presented an elevated level of stress-related symptoms and an altered variability profile as compared with control subjects (low-frequency component of RR variability was, respectively, 65.2+/-2 versus 55.3+/-2 normalized units; P<0.001; opposite changes were observed for the high-frequency component). These alterations were largely reverted (low-frequency component of RR variability from 63.6+/-3.9 to 49.3+/-3 normalized units; P<0.001) by the stress management program, which also slightly lowered systolic arterial pressure. No changes were observed in the sham program group. This noninvasive study indicates that work stress is associated with unpleasant symptoms and with an altered autonomic profile and suggests that a stress management program could be implemented at the worksite, with possible preventive advantages for hypertension.
|Titolo:||Stress management at the worksite : reversal of symptoms profile and cardiovascular dysregulation|
|Parole Chiave:||Autonomic; Hypertension; Lifestyle; Nervous system; Prevention; Stress|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/09 - Medicina Interna|
Settore M-EDF/01 - Metodi e Didattiche delle Attivita' Motorie
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1161/01.HYP.0000255034.42285.58|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|