New research has shown that young women who have stressful jobs may be more at risk of heart disease than their male counterparts.

Although it is known that people in high-flying jobs generally deal with more stress, and therefore carry a higher risk of heart disease, most of the previous studies have focused on the effect on men.

But in the latest study, women who say they have to deal with a small amount of pressure in the workplace are found to be around 25% more likely to suffer heart problems compared with women who claim their workload is more manageable.

And those who have to deal with a high amount of pressure at work were found to be 35% more likely to suffer problems.

The research, published in the journal Occupational And Environmental Medicine, looked at the impact of work pressure on heart disease risk among 12,116 nurses taking part in the Danish Nurse Cohort Study.

The degree to which the women feel they have control over their jobs was also analysed by researchers.

The nurses were all aged between 45 and 64 at the start of the study in 1993 and were followed for a period of 15 years.

By 2008, 580 women had been admitted to hospital with heart disease, of whom 138 had suffered a heart attack, 369 had angina and 73 had another type of heart disease.

Poor job control in the workplace did not influence heart disease risk and, when the rest of the results were looked at by age, the influence was strongest and only significant for women under 51 at the start of the study.

Copyright © Press Association 2010
Occupational And Environmental Medicine

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