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Stressful Jobs May Raise Women's Heart Attack Risk, Study Finds
Date:11/15/2010

double the risk for a heart attack and at a 43 percent higher risk to undergo a bypass procedure. The researchers found no significant link between job strain and either stroke or risk for death.

Women with job insecurity (fear of job loss) were not more likely to have a heart attack or other event, but they were more likely to have several risk factors for cardiovascular problems, including physical inactivity, high cholesterol, hypertension or diabetes. They were also more likely to weigh more.

When it came to health, how demanding a job was seemed to trump how free women were to make decisions or to use their creativity.

"In our particular cohort of female health professionals, the 'demand' component of this model appeared to be driving the vascular risk and less so the control factor," Albert stated.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: "This is the first time that we are seeing the realities of the fact that women are in the workforce just as much as men but oftentimes are not in a position of management. And it's not just necessarily working but the nature of what the job is like."

It should be noted that this study highlighted an apparent association between job stress and heart trouble for women, and did not prove a cause and effect.

A second study, also presented at the meeting, found that, if you're a woman, there may be such a thing as sleeping too long, although perhaps not sleeping too little, when it comes to heart health.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health tracked the sleep habits and stroke incidence of almost 70,000 women for 20 years.

They reported that women who slept for 10 hours or more had a 63 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke, and a 55 percent hiked risk when other factors such as blood pressure were taken into account. Women who slept seven hours -- the median amount of sleep reported in the stud
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