Negative social acts and pain: evidence of a workplace bullying and 5-HTT genotype interaction

Daniel Pitz Jacobsen, Morten Birkeland Nielsen, Ståle Einarsen, Johannes ­ ­Gjerstad
2018 Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health  
Jacobsen DP, Nielsen MB, Einarden S, Gjerstad J. Negative social acts and pain: evidence of a workplace bullying and 5-HTT genotype interaction. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2018:44(3):283-290. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3704 Objectives Long-term exposure to systematic negative acts at work, usually labeled workplace bullying, is a prevalent problem at many workplaces. The adverse effects of such exposure may range from psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety to somatic ailments like
more » ... ovascular disease and musculoskeletal complaints. In this study, we examined the relationships among exposure to negative acts, genetic variability in the 5-HTT gene SLC6A4 and pain. Methods The study was based on a nationally representative survey of 987 Norwegian employees drawn from the Norwegian Central Employee Register by Statistics Norway. Exposure to bullying in the workplace was measured with the 9-item version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire -Revised (NAQ-R) inventory. Pain was rated using an 11-point (0-10) numeric rating scale (NRS). Genotyping with regard to SLC6A4 was carried out using a combination of gel-electrophoresis and TaqMan assay. Results The data revealed a significant interaction between exposure to negative acts and the SLC6A4 genotype with regard to pain (linear regression with 5000 resamples; age, sex, tobacco use and education were included as covariates). The relationship between negative acts and pain intensity was significantly stronger for subjects with the L A L A genotype than for subjects with the SL A /L A L G /SL G genotype. No significant difference between subjects with the L A L A genotype and SS genotype was observed. Conclusions Our data demonstrated that the relationship between bullying and pain was modified by the 5-HTT genotype, ie, genetic variation in SLC6A4. The association between negative acts and health among vulnerable individuals appeared more potent than previously reported.
doi:10.5271/sjweh.3704 pmid:29313869 fatcat:u5kdtkypcbgebfzffq76p5v55y