Job strain, decision latitude and alpha2B-adrenergic receptor polymorphism significantly interact, and associate with higher blood pressures in men.
Summary, in English
Background Job strain (high demands and low decision latitude) and the DID genotype of an I/D polymorphism in the adrenergic alpha(2B)-receptor have been associated with hypertension, respectively. We hypothesized that the I/D polymorphism interacts with external stress, such as job strain, in the development of hypertension. Methods A sample of 3045 employed men and women from the population cohort of Malmo Diet and Cancer Study, n = 28 098, with baseline data regarding work characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors, were genotyped for the adrenergic alpha(2B)-receptor I/D polymorphism. This was possible in 1302 men and 1662 women, and these individuals formed the study group. Results The age-adjusted systolic blood pressure (SBP) for men with the DD polymorphism and job strain (n = 26) was 147.0 +/- 3.4 mmHg, whereas for men with the DD polymorphism but without job strain (n = 184), the SBP was 138.2 +/- 1.4 mmHg (P = 0.018). Similar findings were made regarding diastolic blood pressures (DBP) in men. Job strain and the I/D polymorphism in the adrenergic alpha(2B)-receptor gene significantly interacted in men [P = 0.008 for SBP, P = 0.03 for DBP, adjusted for age, body mass index, occupational status and nationality (Model 1)]. Increasing latitude score was inversely correlated with SBP (beta -0.17, P = 0.03, Model 1) in DD men, but not in men with the I-allele; interaction significance for genotype X latitude score, P = 0.02 for SBP (Model 1). In women, there were no significant interactions between genotype and work characteristics (P = 0.32 for SBP, and P = 0.60 for DBP). Conclusion For the first time, a significant interaction between a genetic factor and work environment, resulting in elevated blood pressures, has been described.