More than 80% of workers feel stress at the job. While patients with underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) need to manage work stress, how work stress affects the risk of mortality in people without an established is not clear. This study aims to examine the associations between work stress and mortality in men and women without preexisting CVD.

This multicohort study included a total of 1,02,633 individuals with work stress (effort-reward imbalance or job strain). The outcomes included the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke, and diabetes. Other factors like work stressors, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle, and conventional risk factors were also assessed. The primary endpoint was mortality and cause of death.

During the mean follow-up of 12.9 years, 3,441 participants had a prevalent cardiometabolic disease, and 3,841 died. The age-standardized mortality rates were significantly higher in men with a cardiometabolic disease who were in job strain (149.8 per 10,000 person-years), as compared with those without job strain (97.7 per 1,000 person-years). In men and women without a cardiometabolic disease, the relative risk of work stress mortality was not significant.

The research concluded that work stress was significantly associated with increased mortality in men with cardiometabolic disease, but not in men without cardiometabolic disease.