Allostatic Load Assessment for Early Detection of Stress in the Workplace in Egypt
Keywords:Allostatic load, stress, job satisfaction, occupational stress, chronic diseases
AIM: Workplace stress is hazardous for its harmful impact on employeesâ€™ health and organizational productivity. The aim of the study is to apply the Allostatic Load Index (ALI) which is a multi-component measure for health risk assessment and early detection of stress among workers in Egypt.
METHODS: Sixty-two working adults randomly selected from two different working environments in Egypt were included in the study. Participants completed a self-reported questionnaire for socio-demographic and work variables. Andrews and Withey test for Job Satisfaction was filled and 3 ml blood samples were collected. Markers assessed for Allostatic Load were serum cortisol, c-reactive protein, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate, total thyroxine, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, waist to hip ratio and body mass index. The risk quartile method was used for calculation of ALI. ALI value of four or more indicates high Allostatic Load.
RESULTS: Job satisfaction scale defined about a quarter of the study population (24%) to be dissatisfied with Allostatic Load of 2.4 as the mean value. Population percentage with ALI â‰¥4 reached 12.9% with 100% of them females. A significant association was found between Allostatic Load of primary mediators and age, the presence of chronic diseases, place of work and female gender.CONCLUSION: Female gender and the old age of the Egyptian workforce under study are at higher risk of chronic diseases. Using an alternative way -for example, the cut-point method- instead of the risk quartiles for dichotomization of markers used in ALI calculation could be more precise for early detection of stress among healthy individuals.
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