Tuesday, November 16, 2010

At last ! A heart study that focuses on women

For years research on cardiovascular disease -- and the recommendations based on those studies -- have been focused on men. Feminist researchers have been working to include women in these medical studies.

According to this article from Todayonline.com, here is the longest, major study to look at stress in women -- who now make up nearly half the workforce in the United States.

Todayonline.com says the study analyzed job strain in 17,415 participants from the Women's Health Study, a U.S. project that began in 1991 and ended last year. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

The article includes some interesting verbiage, I think. It defines stressful positions as "demanding tasks with little authority or creativity." Basically, this refers feminized labor -- those jobs typically categorized as "women's work." It does however, acknowledge that previous studies focused -- almost exclusively -- on men.

NEW YORK - Women with high-stress jobs face about 88 percent more risk of a heart attack than if they had low workplace strain, according to Harvard researchers.

The scientists defined the stressful positions as those with demanding tasks and little authority or creativity .

Those jobs were also associated with a 40 percent greater chance of getting any kind of cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented Chicago at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.

Job strain, social isolation and some personality traits have been recognized as raising risks in both men and women, according to the Dallas-based heart association.

Past studies that focused on men, the traditional breadwinners, found that higher job stress raised heart risks.

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