Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Can a Woman's Job Raise Her Heart Attack Risk?

High-Stress Jobs May Boost Women's Heart Attack Risk

High-Stress Jobs & Women: Perspective continued...

"It has been previously thought that high job demands increase cardiovascular disease risk only if an employee additionally has poor decision authority at work," Kivimaki says.

"This study of U.S. women is important because it suggests this might not be the case. Elevated cardiovascular risk was also seen among women who had demanding jobs combined with high job control."

However, he says the researchers just found a link between job stress and heart health, but cannot prove cause and effect.

It's difficult to take into account all the risk factors that may play in, says Peter Schnall, MD, MPH, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine.

He is also director of the university's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health program in work organization and cardiovascular disease.

"The field of stress research is only now focusing on job strains, but in the past 10 years another dozen serious work-related risk factors have been documented," he tells WebMD.

Among the most heart-hazardous factors? Working long hours, making low wages, and facing threats of harm, he says. For example, a bus driver.

Advice for Women With High-Stress Jobs

Women with high-stress jobs should pay extra attention to lifestyle, Albert says. A woman may focus on taking personal time, doing yoga or meditation, or even praying.

Most important? "Find the thing that works for you to reduce stress," she says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
 
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
red wine
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW