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Hazards: Work Stress Raises Womenís Heart Risk, Study Says 

Women who are stressed at work are more likely than other working women to have a heart attack or other forms of heart disease, a new study suggests:

The findings, presented Nov. 15 at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago, were based on data from 17,415 otherwise healthy middle-aged women who took part in the Womenís Health Study, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The researchers found that women who reported high job strain faced a 40 percent increase in cardiovascular disease over all, and an 88 percent increase in risk for heart attacks alone. ("Strain" was defined as demanding work with little decision-making authority or ability to use oneís creativity and skills.)

Women who worried about losing a job did not experience an increase in heart ailments, but they were more likely than women with high job security to be overweight or to have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease.

Earlier studies on chronic job stress and heart disease in women have had mixed results, though studies of mostly male subjects have found a clear association between the two, said the studyís senior author, Dr. Michelle A. Albert, a cardiologist at Brigham and Womenís Hospital in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

"You canít get rid of stress, but you can manage it," she said

 

 

 

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