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.
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