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Nearly 5 per cent of the women developed coronary heart disease. Pixabay

Psychosocial stress — typically resulting from difficulty coping with challenging environments — may work synergistically to put women at higher risk of developing coronary heart disease, a new study suggests. The findings indicate that the effects of job strain and social strain — the negative aspect of social relationships — on women is a powerful one-two punch. Together they are associated with a 21 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted ongoing stresses for women in balancing paid work and social stressors,” said researchers Yvonne Michael, Associate Professor at Drexel University in the US.


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“My hope is that these findings are a call for better methods of monitoring stress in the workplace and remind us of the dual-burden working women face as a result of their unpaid work as caregivers at home,” Michael added.


Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. Pixabay

The study also found that high-stress life events, such as a spouse’s death, divorce/separation or physical or verbal abuse, as well as social strain, were each independently linked with a 12 percent and 9 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease, respectively. For the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the team used data from a nationally representative sample of 80,825 postmenopausal women.

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In the current follow-up study, the researchers evaluated the effect of psychosocial stress from job strain, stressful life events and social strain (through a survey), and associations among these forms of stress, on coronary heart disease. Nearly 5 percent of the women developed coronary heart disease during the 14-year, seven-month study.

Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US, occurs with the heart’s arteries become narrow and cannot bring sufficient oxygenated blood to the heart. (IANS/SP)


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