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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 2, Issue.: 1 (January-March)


Stressful Work Involvement and Inherited Long QT-Syndrome


Ilmari Määttänen1, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen1, Laura Pulkki-Råback1,2, Mirka Hintsanen1, Heikki Swan3, Lauri Toivonen4, Kimmo Kontula3, Olli Raitakari5 and Taina Hintsa1*

1IBS, Unit of Personality, Work and Health Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
2Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
3Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
4Department of Cardiology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
5Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.


Aims: The long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited cardiac disorder which predisposes the mutation carrier to ventricular arrhythmias that can lead to sudden death. The objective of the study was to study whether stressful work involvement (i.e. worrying about work and job dissatisfaction) is related to arrhythmic risk in LQTS.
Study design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study took place in Finland in 2006 for the LQTS mutation carriers and 2007 for the general Finnish population.
Methodology: The study subjects included 164 symptomatic and 229 asymptomatic LQTS mutation carriers from the Finnish LQTS registry and 1368 comparison subjects randomly derived from the population-based sample, Young Finns Study (YFS). Stressful work involvement was measured with questions derived from the Framingham type A scale.
Results: Upon assessment of the stressful work involvement, symptomatic LQTS mutation carriers scored higher than asymptomatic LQTS mutation carriers (1.51 vs. 1.40, p=0.003, η²=0.022) and the general Finnish population (1.51 vs. 1.39, p<0.001, η²=0.012), while asymptomatic LQTS mutation carriers did not differ from the general Finnish population in the corresponding scores (1.40 vs. 1.39, p=0.374, η²<0.001).
Conclusion: The results confirm the suggestion that perceived stress, in terms of stressful work involvement, may increase the likelihood of arrhythmic events in LQTS mutation carriers. Thus, individual stress proneness may be a risk factor for LQT symptoms, which should be taken into account in counseling LQTS patients. There is previous evidence that stress proneness can be modified by behavioral therapy.

Keywords :

Stress; stressful work involvement; arrhythmias; Long QT-Syndrome (LQTS).

Full Article - PDF    Page 31-38

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2012/768

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