A new study has revealed that psychological stress emerging from challenging environments might shoot up the risk of coronary disease in women. Health experts have said that women who have difficulty coping with emotional trauma might be at a higher risk of coronary heart disease. The study has been done by experts from Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. The findings of the research have been released in the journal of the American Heart Association. As per the study, the impacts of stress at the workplace and the negative side of social relationships are a powerful one-two punch on women. All together, they are linked to a 21 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease. Experts have said that job strain occurs when women have limited power at the workplace to deal with job hassles and expectations.
Apart from that, high-stress life incidents such as spouse’s death, divorce, or separation, physical or verbal abuse, and social strain are each separately associated with a 12 percent and 9 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease respectively, said the experts. Scientists have used the data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, which includes data from a nationally representative sample of 80825 postmenopausal women. The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study has followed its participants from 1991 to 2015 to come up with better ways and means to prevent cancer heart issues and osteoporosis in women.
In the new study, experts have looked at the effects of psychological stress from job strain, social strain, and unpleasant life events and links of these forms of stress in coronary heart disease (CHD). As per the data, around 5 percent of participants have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease in the 14 years seven months-long study. After regulating, age, time at a job, and socioeconomic traits, high-stress life incidents have been linked to a 12 percent greater risk of coronary disease. On the other hand, the high social strain has been linked to a 9 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease. However, work strain has not been associated with CHD separately. Experts have said that coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of death in the US. It starts with heart arteries becoming narrow, which results in insufficient oxygenated blood flow to the heart. The new study is based on previous studies that show how the effects of psychological stress can lead to coronary heart disease.
The latest work has shown how different types of psychological stress can work together to shoot up the risk of the disease. Experts have said that the ongoing COVID19 pandemic as well has increased these types of stress among women in balancing paid work and social stressors. Other studies as well have shown that work strain might shoot up the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The senior author of the study, Yvonne Michael has said that with the new findings, they will be able to identify poor health outcomes linked to the combined effects of work stress and personal stress. He is an associate professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health.
Yvonne Michael has said that with the new study, they will be able to come up with better methods to keep a check on stress at the workplace. It will make experts aware of the dual burden women have been facing due to their unpaid work as caregivers at home. The authors of the study have said that health experts should focus on the effects of shift work on coronary heart disease and look at the impacts of job demands specific to gender in their studies in the future. They have said that the findings of the new study are a reminder to women and their families that the threat of stress to human health should not go unnoticed. The lead author of the study, Conglong Wang has said that the outcomes of the new study are pertinent in the context of stressors that have been caused by the pandemic.