Job Stress a Danger for Women, as Well

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Byline: Marilyn Marchione Associated Press

Working women are equal to men in a way they'll wish they weren't. Female workers with stressful jobs were more likely than women with less job strain to suffer a heart attack or a stroke or to have clogged arteries, a big federally funded study found.

Worrying about losing a job can raise heart risks, too, researchers found.

The results seem sure to resonate in a weak economy with plenty of stress about jobs -- or lack of them. The mere fact this study was done is a sign of the times: Past studies focused on men, the traditional breadwinners, and found that higher job stress raised heart risks. This is the longest major one to look at stress in women, who now make up nearly half of the workforce.

"The reality is these women don't have the same kind of jobs as men" and often lack authority or control over their work, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of the Women and Heart Disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "It's not just going to work, it's what happens when you get there."

Steinbaum had no role in the study, which was led by Dr. Michelle Albert, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. …