Measurement of stress amongst working adults with cardiovascular disease

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Jessie Zhanay, Alejandra Leon, Lela Scott, Milla Arabadjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of increased disability from work worldwide. Chronic stress including work-related stressors influences cardiovascular health. The purpose of this study was to assess stress levels amongst workers with CVD. The specific aims were to: (i) evaluate associations of the biological marker—hair cortisol concentration (HCC) with perceived stress and (ii) examine associations of HCC and perceived stress with sociodemographic factors and work-related factors. Methods This cross-sectional descriptive study (n = 75) of employed adults (≥ 21 age) with CVD assessed perceived stress, work- and results related factors including workplace support, job control, job strain, and work-life balance using valid and reliable instruments. Hair cortisol concentration was measured using collected hair samples. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, correlational, and ANOVA analysis. The sample was 64% female; 80% are White, 8% African American, 4% Asian, and 8% Hispanic; mean 12 years with CVD diagnosis. Hair cortisol concentration was significantly correlated with workplace support by co-workers (r = − 0.328, P = 0.012), supervisors (r = − 0.260, P = 0.05), and skill discretion (− 0.297, r = 0.047) but not perceived stress. Those with better work-life balance had lower HCC (F = 3.077, P = 0.054) and lower perceived stress (F = 10.320, P , 0.01). Conclusions Although this sample of working adults with CVD reported high levels of perceived stress; only work-related factors were significantly associated with HCC. These results suggest that there are work-related stressors that cut across jobs and workplaces that may contribute to chronic stress in working adults. Healthcare providers across clinical and occupational settings have an important role in addressing work-related stress in working adults with CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-856
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • CVD
  • Hair cortisol
  • Occupational health
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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