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That "9 to 5" may be hazardous to your health

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As if sleep interruptions weren't bad enough, now women also have to worry about their jobs taking a toll on their heart health. New findings presented this week at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago show that women with high levels of stress at work face increased risks of heart attacks.

The Women's Health Study analyzed data from 17,415 healthy women and found a 40 percent increase overall in cardiovascular disease, and an 88 percent increase in risk for heart attacks alone:

"Our study indicates that there are both immediate and long-term clinically documented cardiovascular health effects of job strain in women," said Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., the study's senior author and associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass. "Your job can positively and negatively affect health, making it important to pay attention to the stresses of your job as part of your total health package."

While it may be difficult to get rid of stress, the researchers suggested ways to manage it through exercising, spending time with friends and family and limiting bringing work home.

As a new mom who recently returned to work, I feel lucky to have both a baby who sleeps through the night and a low-stress job. Now if I could only figure out what to do about my snoring husband.

Photo by Joshua Hoffman

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