15/11/2010 09:53 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Is Your Career Putting A Strain On Your Heart?

Women who have demanding jobs could literally be risking all for their careers, say US experts. In a new study, researchers suggest stressful jobs could increase a woman's risk of having a heart attack by 88.

Is your career affecting your heart? Getty

There's nothing new in the idea that stress can make you ill. For instance, a report published last month suggested stress is the main reason why many workers take time off sick. All sorts of health problems have indeed been linked with stress, even PMS.

The new study, which has just been presented at a conference of the American Heart Association, examined the effects of job strain in more than 17,000 healthy women who were tracked for more than 10 years to track signs of cardiovascular disease.

Job strain, say the researchers, is defined as a form of psychological stress caused by having a demanding job with little to no decision-making power, or no opportunity to use your creative of individual skills.

The researchers, perhaps unsurprisingly, also discovered women who are afraid of losing their jobs also had a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight gain - all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular problems.

So if you're a woman in a high-stress job, they say, it's important to learn how to reduce your stress levels in order to look after your heart.

Do you ever need time off work because of stress? How does it affect you?

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