Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 148–155 | Cite as

Neuregulin-1 genotype moderates the association between job strain and early atherosclerosis in young men

  • Mirka Hintsanen
  • Marko Elovainio
  • Sampsa Puttonen
  • Mika Kivimäki
  • Olli T. Raitakari
  • Terho Lehtimäki
  • Riika Rontu
  • Markus Juonala
  • Mika Kähönen
  • Jorma Viikari
  • Liisa Keltikang as-Järvinen


Background: Although it is known that a given level of strain does not induce a corresponding CHD risk in all individuals, factors that predict groups at risk have remained unclear. Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) has various roles in the development and function of the heart and autonomic nervous system.Purpose: We examined whether polymorphic variation in NRG-1 moderates the association between job strain and early atherosclerosis.Methods: The participants (Mage=32.5) were 349 women and 357 men derived from the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Job strain was defined as the joint effect of job demands and job control. Preclinical atherosclerosis was measured using carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) ultrasound.Results: NRG-1 single nucleotide polymorphism SNP8NRG221533 (T to C) was found to moderate the association between job strain and IMT in men (p=.04). Job strain was significantly associated with increased IMT among men with T/T genotype but not among the others. A direct association between NRG-1 and IMT was found in women.Conclusions: Our results suggest that the effect of job strain on early ather osclerosis is dependent on NRG-1 genotype in men. Gene×Environment Interaction approach seems to offer important additional information in stress research.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirka Hintsanen
    • 1
  • Marko Elovainio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sampsa Puttonen
    • 1
  • Mika Kivimäki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Olli T. Raitakari
    • 4
  • Terho Lehtimäki
    • 5
  • Riika Rontu
    • 5
  • Markus Juonala
    • 6
  • Mika Kähönen
    • 7
  • Jorma Viikari
    • 8
  • Liisa Keltikang as-Järvinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and HealthFinland
  3. 3.International Centre for Health and Society, Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PhysiologyUniversity of TurkuFinland
  5. 5.Laboratory of Ather osclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, the Medical School University of Tampere and Centre for Laboratory MedicineTampere University HospitalFinland
  6. 6.Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine University of TurkuFinland
  7. 7.Department of Clinical PhysiologyTampere University HospitalFinland
  8. 8.Department of MedicineUniversity of TurkuFinland

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