La radiologia medica

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 142–148 | Cite as

Work stress and metabolic syndrome in radiologists: first evidence

  • Nicola MagnavitaEmail author
  • Adriano Fileni
Resources Management and Health Economy



Scientific data have amply demonstrated that work stress increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, less attention has been given to the association between stress and metabolic syndrome. In this study, our aim was to investigate the relationship between work stress and metabolic syndrome in a population of radiologists.

Materials and methods

Radiologists and radiotherapists taking part in scientific conferences were invited to compile a questionnaire to evaluate work stress and the main parameters for diagnosing metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol level, elevated triglycerides, and hyperglycemia).


Most of the doctors taking part in the survey (n = 383, 58.6 %) were found to have at least one pathological component; 47 subjects (7.1 %) had metabolic syndrome. All the variables indicating work stress, whether derived from Karasek’s demand/control model or from the effort/reward model devised by Siegrist, were significant predictors of metabolic syndrome components. Radiologists with elevated levels of stress had a significantly higher risk of being affected by metabolic syndrome than colleagues with lower stress levels, whether stress was defined as “job strain”, i.e., elevated work load and reduced discretionary power (OR 4.89, 95 % CI 2.51–9.55), or as “effort reward imbalance”, i.e., mismatch between effort and reward for the work performed (OR 4.66, 95 % CI 2.17–10.02).


Should the results of this cross-sectional study be confirmed by a subsequent longitudinal survey, they would indicate the need for prompt organizational intervention to reduce occupational stress in radiologists.


Work-related stress Radiologist Metabolic syndrome Hypertension Obesity Elevated triglycerides Reduced HDL cholesterol Glucose intolerance Job strain Effort–reward imbalance Overcommitment Social support 


Conflict of interest

Nicola Magnavita, Adriano Fileni declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale Malattia Infettive (I.N.M.I.) Lazzaro SpallanzaniRomeItaly

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