Cardiovascular Risk in Women Is Increased to a Greater Extent Due to Work Stress

woman with chest pain and suffering health and medical conceptsCardiovascular risk may be higher in women if they tend to have stress in the workplace. Work stress, fatigue, and sleep disorders are generally regarded as non-traditional risk factors for stroke and heart attack, but according to a new study, these factors are rising more among women.

The study compared data from 22,000 men and women in the Swiss Health Survey from 2007, 2012, and 2017. Researchers found a surprisingly significant increase in the number of women reporting non-traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


Workplace stress is increasing in both women and men, with both sexes reporting an increase from 59% in 2012 to 66% in 2017. Researchers noted that 33% of women reported being more fatigued, while 26% of men reported the same. Over this same period, sleep disorders increased from 24% to 29%, with severe sleep disorders affecting 8% of women and 5% of men.

Traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease have mostly remained stable, with people still suffering from hypertension, raised cholesterol, and diabetes. Obesity has been increasing, while the number of people who smoke is slowly declining.

Study authors Dr. Martin Hänsel and Dr. Susanne Wegener commented, “Our study found men were more likely to smoke and be obese than women, but females reported a bigger increase in the non-traditional risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, such as work stress, sleep disorders, and feeling tired and fatigued.”

“These results underscore the fact that sex differences exist for non-traditional CVD risk factors with an alarming trend towards a particular increase in women.”

Recognizing Societal Pressures

This data shows that various cardiovascular disease risk factors go beyond medical ones. Recognizing these societal pressures can help to form better prevention strategies for heart attacks and strokes.


Diabetes, arterial hypertension, raised cholesterol, obesity, smoking, and physical activity are all recognized modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These new non-traditional risk factors can also be targeted through lifestyle interventions.

Traditionally, men have been more affected by stroke and heart attack, but in some countries, women have overtaken men. More research is needed to understand this gender gap.

Researchers believe that the increase in cardiovascular risk in women corresponds with the number of women working full time. Women tend to have more domestic responsibilities to juggle with socio-cultural aspects, which can directly affect the specific health demands of women.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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