Job Stress and Overcommitment in Cardiac Patients

  • En-Young Nicole Cho
  • Roland von Känel


This chapter summarizes the current knowledge about the relationships between job stress and heart diseases, particularly coronary heart disease (CHD). In recent decades, job stress seems to have increased in modern societies, while the nature of work and employment underwent significant changes. For instance, there has been a shift in the prevalence of health-adverse work environments from material to mental and emotional stressors (Siegrist & Rödel, 2006; Marmot, Theorell, & Siegrist, 2002; Schrijvers, van de Mheen, Stronks, & Mackenbach, 1998). Computer-based information processing is part of a growing number of job profiles, and the service sector continues to increase. In a macroeconomic context, with the advent of globalization, work pressure has increased considerably along with growing job insecurity and job loss (Siegrist & Rödel, 2006). Moreover, women and elderly people comprise a growing proportion of the work force. Part-time working and flexible work arrangements have also increased. A significant proportion of middle-aged men and women are no longer participating in the labor market partly due to early and involuntary retirement (Brugiavini, 2001). Early retirement is often consequent to job stress–related mental and physical diseases, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). For instance, the burnout syndrome is understood as a complex of symptoms, primarily exhaustion, in response to prolonged emotional and interpersonal stress at work (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). The prevalence of burnout among North American residents fluctuates between 18% and 82% (Prins et al., 2007). Importantly, not all work is carried out in organizations such that work stress issues are also relevant for the self-employed and even those who work in the home, all of which may also be at risk for overwork and associated exhaustion.


Coronary Heart Disease Cardiac Rehabilitation Psychosocial Risk Factor Decision Latitude Psychosocial Work Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • En-Young Nicole Cho
    • 1
  • Roland von Känel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Psychosomatic Medicine, Department of General Internal MedicineInselspital, Bern University Hospital, and University of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Psychocardiology Unit, Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, Swiss Cardiovascular CenterInselspital, Bern University Hospital, and University of BernBernSwitzerland

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