Job Stress and Women’s Health

Michelle Albert, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, conducted a study in 1999 of more than 17,000 mostly older white women employed in health care. The results indicated that having a stressful job raised a woman’s risk of needing heart surgery by 40 percent and almost double the likelihood that she’ll have a heart attack. The women were asked to assess how much stress they encountered at work. In 2010  she found that those classified as having the most demanding jobs and the lowest sense of control over how they do them are paying a very high price in cardiovascular health. Although the link between job-induced stress and heart problems has been well established for men, this federally funded study is the most significant look yet at its impact on women who make up 47 percent of the workforce while bearing a heavier burden than men at home. She went on to say that “women have to be particularly attuned to the issue of various stressors in their lives and seek help to manage them.”

Married men behave better

A recent study conducted by Dr. S. Alexandra Burt at Michigan State University concluded that married men behave better either because marriage likely helps improve their behavior or nicer men are more likely to be married in the first place. These findings address a long-standing debate among researchers concerning why men display fewer qualities associated with antisocial personality disorder such as criminal behavior, lying, aggression and lacking in remorse. Is it because marriage reforms them or because men with more of these nasty traits are less likely to marry in the first place? The conclusion was that it was a little bit of both.

The approach was novel in that the researchers followed 289 pairs of male twins for 12 years between the ages of 17 and 29. More than half of them were identical twins meaning they share all of their genes. Among those twins, where one was married and the other wasn’t, the married twin had fewer antisocial behaviors after the union than the unmarried one. Dr. Burt concluded that those with antisocial behaviors may not marry and are not the most eligible bachelors and may not be so eager to marry. In addition, people with spouses tend to live longer, be less depressed and suffer less from heart ailments and stroke. Of course, I would be quick to add that the marriage needs to be a healthy and happy union in the first place.


Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.

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