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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 371905, 7 pages
Research Article

The Association between Job Strain and Atrial Fibrillation: Results from the Swedish WOLF Study

1School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, 551 11 Jönköping, Sweden
2Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Psychology, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
4Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
5Department of Internal Medicine, County Hospital Ryhov, 551 85 Jönköping, Sweden
6Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden
7Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 16 January 2015; Accepted 23 March 2015

Academic Editor: Giancarlo Cesana

Copyright © 2015 Eleonor I. Fransson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart rhythm disorder. Several life-style factors have been identified as risk factors for AF, but less is known about the impact of work-related stress. This study aims to evaluate the association between work-related stress, defined as job strain, and risk of AF. Methods. Data from the Swedish WOLF study was used, comprising 10,121 working men and women. Job strain was measured by the demand-control model. Information on incident AF was derived from national registers. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between job strain and AF risk. Results. In total, 253 incident AF cases were identified during a total follow-up time of 132,387 person-years. Job strain was associated with AF risk in a time-dependent manner, with stronger association after 10.7 years of follow-up (HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.10–3.36 after 10.7 years, versus HR 1.11, 95% CI 0.67–1.83 before 10.7 years). The results pointed towards a dose-response relationship when taking accumulated exposure to job strain over time into account. Conclusion. This study provides support to the hypothesis that work-related stress defined as job strain is linked to an increased risk of AF.