The literature on the relationship between work-related psychosocial factors and the development of ischemic heart disease (IHD) was systematically reviewed: 33 articles presented 51 analyses of studies involving male participants, 18 analyses involving female participants, and 8 analyses with both genders. Twenty of the studies originated in the Nordic countries, and the major dimensions of the Demand-Control Model were the focus of 23 articles. A balanced evaluation of the studies indicates moderate evidence that high psychologic demands, lack of social support, and iso-strain are risk factors for IHD among men. Studies performed during recent years have not shown evidence for lack of control as a risk factor for IHD. Several studies have shown that job strain is a risk factor, but in the more recent ones, these associations can be fully explained by the association between demands and disease risk. Insufficient evidence was found for a relationship between IHD and effort-reward imbalance, injustice, job insecurity, or long working hours. Studies involving women are too few to draw any conclusion concerning women, work stress, and IHD.
Keywords: Adaptation, Psychological; Coronary Artery Disease; Humans; Myocardial Infarction; Myocardial Ischemia; Occupational Exposure; Occupational Health; Risk Factors; Stress, Psychological; Work; Workplace