Work-related psychosocial factors and metabolic syndrome onset among workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis

K Watanabe, A Sakuraya, N Kawakami, K Imamura, E Ando, Y Asai, H Eguchi, Y Kobayashi, N Nishida, H Arima, A Shimazu, A Tsutsumi

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Work-related psychosocial factors have been associated with metabolic syndrome. However, no systematic reviews or meta-analyses have evaluated this association.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted, using PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and the Japan Medical Abstracts Society. Eligible studies included those that examined the previously mentioned association; had a longitudinal or prospective cohort design; were conducted among workers; provided sufficient data for calculating odds ratios, relative risks or hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals; were original articles in English or Japanese; and were published no later than 2016. Study characteristics, exposure and outcome variables and association measures of studies were extracted by the investigators independently.

RESULTS: Among 4,664 identified studies, 8 were eligible for review and meta-analysis. The pooled risk of adverse work-related stress on metabolic syndrome onset was significant and positive (RR = 1.47; 95% CI, 1.22-1.78). Sensitivity analyses limiting only the effects of job strain and shift work also indicated a significant positive relationship (RR = 1.75; 95% CI, 1.09-2.79; and RR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.00-2.54, P = 0.049 respectively).

CONCLUSION: This study reveals a strong positive association between work-related psychosocial factors and an elevated risk of metabolic syndrome onset. The effects of job strain and shift work on metabolic syndrome appear to be significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1568
Number of pages12
JournalObesity reviews
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 World Obesity Federation.


This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (15J04085) and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (180701-01).

FundersFunder number
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science19K21509, 15J04085
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare180701-01


    • Humans
    • Metabolic Syndrome/psychology
    • Workplace/psychology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Work-related psychosocial factors and metabolic syndrome onset among workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this