It was found that almost 5% of women developed coronary heart disease during the 14-year, seven-month study. High-stress life events were linked to a 12% increased coronary heart disease risk when adjusted for age, time at a job and socioeconomic characteristics. High social strain was linked to a 9% increased risk of coronary heart disease when adjusted for the same aspects. Work strain alone, however, was not tied to coronary heart disease.
Researchers note that the pandemic and how it has transformed work and home life has influenced how much women have had to deal with work and social stress together.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted ongoing stresses for women in balancing paid work and social stressors. We know from other studies that work strain may play a role in developing CHD, but now we can better pinpoint the combined impact of stress at work and at home on these poor health outcomes,” senior author Yvonne Michael, an associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health said in a statement.
“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.”