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Justice May Prevent Coronary Heart Disease

Mika Kivimäki, Ph.D., of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,442 male office staff in 20 civil service departments in London, England. Justice at work was measured at phase one (1985-1988) and two (1989-1990). Each participant was given a score based on a self-reported justice scale. They were divided into three groups based on their average score. Participants were followed for incidence of coronary heart disease from 1990 to 1999. Conventional risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) were measured at phase one.

“These data enable us to determine whether the addition of justice would add to risk estimates based on other risk factors,” the researchers write. “In the present study, we examined whether justice at work predicted incidence of new CHD among employees and whether this association was independent of coronary risk factors, including cholesterol concentration, hypertension, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and other psychosocial characteristics of the work environment.”

“In men who perceived a high level of justice, the risk of incident CHD was 30 percent lower than among those who perceived a low or an intermediate level of justice,” the researchers report. “This finding was not accounted for by baseline factors such as age, ethnicity, marital status, educational attainment, socio-economic position, cholesterol level, obesity, hypertension, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.”

“Justice, equity, and altruism have been the drivers of benign developments in human societies according to a wide range of studies across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Our findings on CHD, the leading cause of death in all Western societies, suggest that organizational justice is also a topic worthy of consideration in health research.”

MEDICA.de; Source: American Medical Association (AMA)

 
 
 

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