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Apr 15, 2011

Work-Related Stress & Cardiovascular Disease Linked in Women

The correlation between women’s stress at work and increased risk for heart disease has been a current area of interest in Harvard researchers.  A study involving over 17,000 female health professionals (The Women’s Health Study) has revealed a 40% increased risk for heart disease, including heart attacks and the need for coronary artery surgeries, in women with stressful jobs as compared to those who are not as stressed.  It also showed that women who worry about becoming unemployed have a greater chance of having high blood pressure, unfavorable cholesterol levels, and obesity.  Another 15-year study in Denmark nurses found that more pressure at work led to a greater chance of cardiovascular disease in women 51 years of age and younger (Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2010).  A third study located in Beijing found that white collar women with increased job stress tended to have thickened carotid artery walls, an early indication of cardiovascular disease.  

The bottom line here is that stress plays a critical role in our health, and we all can benefit from taking action to help manage and lower our overall stress levels on a daily basis.   It’s true that when we feel stressed, it may seem more difficult to do the things we need to lower it down a notch.  We might feel crunched for time and think it’s impossible to incorporate a short relaxation routine or exercise session into our day.  But this is when we need it the most!  Stay tuned to our blog for more information on stress, how it affects the body, and some helpful tips on how to lessen the load…           

Dr. Shana McQueen