2016 Funding Round - Project

Professor Jeroen Douwes
Massey University, Wellington
Work-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease
24 months

Lay summary

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in New Zealand (NZ). There is evidence that occupational risk factors play a role in CVD; however, there are many knowledge gaps in part due to the relative lack of research in this area. We will use our previous NZ Workforce Survey (NZWS) and Maori NZWS as the basis for a prospective cohort study, by following up participants for new CVD outcomes through linkage with health records. We will assess associations between occupational exposures (including night shift, chemicals, noise, stress, strenuous/sedentary work) and ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. We will also investigate potential intermediate and modifying factors (such as obesity and sleep problems) on CVD risk. This novel study will evaluate whether common and currently relevant workplace exposures increase the risk of CVD and identify specific modifiable occupational risk factors which will contribute to improved prevention.

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