Women at high-stress jobs are upwards of 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular disease than women who do not have a stressful job. Researcher on this study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010. Additionally, fear of losing a job causes weight problems, high cholesterol, and higher blood pressure in women.
Stressful jobs, as explained by researchers, generally mean high demands and little decision making opportunity for the employee.
This study found immediate and long-term health issues in relation to job stress, specifically in women. Jobs can play a large factor in overall health of an individual — high stress jobs may negatively affect health while low-stress jobs may improve health conditions.
For the study, data from 17,415 women who answered questions in the Women’s Health Study were analyzed. At the beginning of the study, all individuals were known to be healthy, and the average age was around 55 years old. Researchers accounted for potential risk factors for disease, including job stress or insecurity.
Follows up on women in this study were performed for at least 10 years to further understand cardiovascular disease risks from stressful jobs.
Women explaining to have a stressful job (fast paced, hard work, low control) noticed a 40 percent higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
This study effectively showed the correlation between long-term disease factors when related to high-stress and low-control jobs.
Prior studies failed to examine such a vast array of cardiovascular disease, and also focused mainly on men.