The more on-the-job strain, the more likely women are to have a heart attack, stroke or clogged arteries. These findings come from an analysis of the health of more than 17,000 working women, average age 57, participating in the long-running Women's Health Study, which is looking at heart disease and cancer prevention. Most of the women participating were health professionals, from nurses' aides to Ph.D.s. They filled out questionnaires about their jobs that were then divided into four groups depending on the extent of the stress the women reported. Ten years later, the researchers found that women with demanding jobs and little control were nearly twice as likely to have had a heart attack as women with less demanding jobs and more control. Those with the most stress had a 40 percent higher overall risk of heart attacks, strokes or clogged arteries that required bypass surgery or angioplasty, a procedure to open the arteries. In addition, women who were worried about losing their jobs had higher blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body weight than those who weren't worried about job security.
Check out the Women's Health Center.