Work stress raises women’s heart disease risk

Those under 50 at risk due to job pressures


In a new study, Danish researchers asked more than 12,000 female nurses aged 45 to 64 about their pressures at work, and tracked their health for 15 years, ending in 2008. While there’s a lot of work linking work stress to heart disease in men, little exists about the impact on women; but by 2008, in this study, 580 nurses had been admitted to hospital with ischaemic heart disease (including 369 cases of angina an 138 heart attacks), the BBC reports. After taking other risk factors like smoking and diabetes into account, they found that those who described pressures at work as “much too high” were 35 per cent more likely to have developed heart disease than those comfortable with the pressure. By age, they saw it was only women aged 50 and under who were significantly affected, suggesting other risk factors could play a bigger role for women over 50.

BBC News

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Work stress raises women’s heart disease risk

  1. During our pre-1960s' racism, we focused exclusively on helping whites although blacks were far worse off.

    Similar to this racism is today's new sexism: when it comes to heart disease, society focuses almost exclusively on women, though men as a group, especially black men, are at greater risk at every age. That's a fact well known even to the thousands of men, including male doctors, who campaign against women's heart disease but not against men's. How many women campaign against the disease in men, the more at-risk group? Of the thousands of yearly reports on women's heart disease, how many are written as if men literally did not exist?

    This is sexism. What would we call it if women developed heart disease ten years sooner than men and died of it at a higher rate at every age, and everyone focused on men's heart disease, often as if women did not exist?

    See "Why More Women Than Men Die of Heart Disease" at tinyurl.com/pkkajz

  2. Statistically, we know that women have been significantly under-represented in all cardiac research, are under-diagnosed compared to male heart patients, and under-treated even when appropriately diagnosed.
    As a heart attack survivor (who was sent home from the E.R. with a misdiagnosis of acid reflux despite presenting with textbook cardiac symptoms like crushing chest pain and pain radiating down my left arm) I am now very glad to learn that things are finally improving – very slowly! – for all heart patients. For starters, many research projects have their funding now tied to both age, race and gender balance in study methodology.

    This is hardly sexism, but a long overdue attempt to correct the misperception that heart disease is a man's problem.

    This unfortunately includes the medical profession. In a 2005 American Heart Assocation survey of North American physicians to find out how many knew that more women than men die from heart disease each year: only 8% of family doctors knew this. Worse, only 17% of cardiologists knew it! This can hardly be described as a "society focusing almost exclusively on women"!

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