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A Good Boss Can Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease

Psychosocial interventions at work can promote healthy management practices

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy work environment, with a good manager at the helm, can decrease the risk of ischemic heart disease among employees regardless of individual risk factors, according to the results of a Swedish study reported online Nov. 27 in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

In the WOLF (Work, Lipids and Fibrinogen) study, Anna Nyberg, of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University in Sweden, and colleagues used Cox proportional hazards analyses to calculate hazard ratios for ischemic heart disease among a cohort of 3,122 Swedish male employees (average age, 42 yrs) in relation to managerial leadership. Managerial leadership was assessed using the Stress Profile.

The investigators found that regardless of other risk factors, high-quality leadership was linked to lower risk of heart disease. The inverse relationship improved over a longer duration of employment with the same employer, age-adjusted hazard ratio 0.76 for employment for one year, 0.77 for two years, 0.69 for three years and 0.61 for four years, the researchers report.

"This study suggests that interventions aimed at improving the psychosocial work environment and preventing ischemic heart disease among employees could focus on concrete managerial behaviors, such as the provision of clear work objectives, information and sufficient control in relation to responsibilities," the authors conclude.

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