A study out of Xinjiang Medical University in China shows that occupational stress increases blood sugar in a group of female oil field workers, but not cholesterol.

Researchers from the Department of Occupational Health at Xinjiang Medical University in China studied the effects of occupational stress on immunological function, glucose, and blood lipid levels of female workers.

Occupational role, personal strain, and personal abilities were assessed in 900 female workers working in an oil-field setting (the observation group) and in 220 female workers in other occupational settings (controls).

Both groups were measured using the occupational stress inventory-revised (OSI-R). Following this, 100 workers were selected randomly from both groups, and blood lipids, blood sugar, and immunological function were assessed.

Occupational strain was generally much higher in the oil field group than in the control group. (P < 0.05) There was no difference found in personal abilities between the two groups. Measures of blood sugar, IgG, IgA, IgM and IL-6 content in the observation group were significantly higher than those of the control group. However, CHO, HDL, LDL, IL-2 content was significantly less in the observation group than in the control group (P < 0.05).

The study concludes that blood sugar content was increased, CHO, HDL, LDL were decreased and immunological function was changed because of occupational stress. [Ed. Note: because the oil field group may have gotten significantly more exercise, however, this could account for the lowered cholesterol values in this group.]

Citation: Lian YL, Liu JW, Tan WG, Zeng H, Wang H. Effects of occupational stress on immunological function, glucose and blood lipid of female workers in oil-field. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2005 July; 34 (4): pages 469-71.