The May 2010 edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine includes an important report about the increase of heart disease risk in young women. There is often a lot of reports into the cardiovascular health of men so this report is very useful.
The basic findings of the report are:
“Nurses who indicated that their work pressures were a little too high were 25% more likely to have ischaemic heart disease as those who said their work pressures were manageable and appropriate.
But those who felt work pressures were much too high were almost 50% more likely to have ischaemic heart disease. After taking account of risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and lifestyle, the risk fell to 35%, but still remained significant.”
It should be said that the report was from a Danish study of nurses and although the media statement says this relates to the heart risks of young women, the age range of the study sample was 45 to 60. The study quizzed the nurses about work pressure and personal issues in 1993, at the beginning of the study, and their health was followed through medical records for the next 15 years.
The report itself states:
“In this study we find that work pressure that is too high is a significant risk factor for IHD [ischaemic heart disease] in younger female employees (<51 years of age). The results should be taken into account in the planning of primary prevention.”
Many readers may be pleased to be described as “young” through to 51 but, if any of the mainstream media cover these findings, the shorthand reference to “young” rather than “younger” may confuse the relevance of the findings.
The study reference is “Psychosocial work environment and risk of ischaemic heart disease in women: the Danish Nurse Cohort Study” Occup Environ Med 2010; 67: 318-22.