Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Women Working Longer Hours at Greater Risk of Chronic Disease

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Women Working Longer Hours at Greater Risk of Chronic Disease

Article excerpt

A new study from the Ohio State University has shown that women whose working weeks averaged 60 h or more over three decades appear to triple the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart problems. Researchers analysed data from interviews with almost 7,500 people who were part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.

The study demonstrated that early work experiences affected women far more in later life, whereas men with similarly gruelling work schedules appeared to fare much better. This may be due to the pressure women face in balancing family and work demands.

Researchers also found that the risk notably heightened when women worked for more than 40h per week and took a decidedly negative turn above 50h.

They examined data for survey participants who were at least 40 in 1998, when interview questions began to include questions about health status and chronic conditions. They averaged the self-reported weekly hours worked over 32 years and compared this to the incidence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer (except skin cancer), arthritis or rheumatism, diabetes or high blood sugar, chronic lung disease including bronchitis or emphysema, asthma, depression and high blood pressure. …

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