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Women with stressful jobs have an increased risk of heart attack

Women with stressful jobs have a greater likelihood for having a heart attack. Healthday
(11/14/10, Gardner) has reported on a study just being presented at the annual American
Heart Association meeting. The researchers have followed more than 17,000 female health
professionals for over ten years evaluating job stress and cardiovascular disease.

The study looked at women with an average age of 57 at the beginning of the study and found
that women with high job strain defined as demanding jobs over which they have little control
were more likely to be sedentary and have elevated cholesterol. They were almost at double the
risk of having a heart attack and at 43% higher risk to undergo a coronary bypass procedure.

The study also found that women with job insecurity (those who are fearful of losing their
jobs) were not more likely to have a heart attack or other event but more likely to have several
risk factors for cardiovascular problems including physical inactivity, elevated cholesterol,
hypertension, and diabetes. They were also more likely to have an increase in weight.

The scientist who presented the study defined stressful jobs as those with demanding tasks
and little authority or creativity. The study appears to be one of the longest running studies
of cardiovascular effects of job strain only in women. It appears that mental tension and how
demanding the job is appear to have a major effect on cardiovascular health in women.

Dr. Steven Reisman, a Manhattan Cardiologist emphasizes that at the New York Cardiac
Diagnostic Center an emphasis is placed on women and heart disease with Dr. Lynn Mailloux
having a special interest in treating women with heart disease and diagnosing women with heart
disease. In addition, Dr. Reisman states that Dr. Alan Rozanski a top specialist in mental stress
and heart disease is a consultant to the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center.

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