Job stress can impact heart risks for women

Preparing for Your Trip to Denmark

Reported May 11, 2011

On-the-job stress may make women more susceptible to heart disease, according to the findings of a new study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Reuters reports that scientists from Denmark assessed the impact of work pressure and degree of personal influence in the workplace on the heart health of more than 12,000 nurses between the ages of 45 and 64.

They found that women who felt their work stress was much too high were 35 percent more likely to have heart disease compared to those who felt their work pressures were manageable. Women who said their work pressure was a little too high were 25 percent more likely to develop heart disease.

“This study adds to the previous body of evidence suggesting harmful effects of excessive psychological demands at work on cardiac health, but is one among very few that demonstrates the effect among women,” the researchers said.

They say more studies are needed to identify what factors contribute to high perceived work pressure.

June Davison, a nurse from the British Heart Foundation told Reuters that stress at work may cause people to pick up unhealthy habits – like smoking, drinking and overeating – that may boost heart disease risk.

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