Psychological job demands as a risk factor for common cold in a Dutch working population.

D.C.L. Mohren*, G.M.H. Swaen, P.J.A. Borm, A. Bast, J.M.D. Galama

*Corresponding author for this work

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J Psychosom Res 2001 Jan;50(1):21-7 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

Psychological job demands as a risk factor for common cold in a Dutch working population.

Mohren DC, Swaen GM, Borm PJ, Bast A, Galama JM.

Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of Psychological Job Demands (PJD) on the occurrence of the clinical symptoms of common cold. METHODS: Subjects, participating in a large prospective cohort study on psychological determinants of fatigue at work, were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the occurrence of common cold during the previous four months. High PJD were considered as a potential risk factor. Other factors such as age, gender, and having young children were considered as potential confounders. RESULTS: In logistic regression analysis, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for having a recent cold in subjects reporting high PJD vs. those reporting low PJD was 1.20 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08-1.33). A higher risk emerged among those with young children (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.47-1.96), those having a history of asthma (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.28-2.22), or being under the age of 40 (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.14-1.43) and among smokers (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.09-1.38). CONCLUSION: The results support an association between PJD and common cold. In spite of the almost inevitable shortcoming of a large cohort study using questionnaires, this study gave us the opportunity to study the relationship between common cold and work-related factors in a nonexperimental setting with participants observed in a natural environment with all the normal everyday hassles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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