Latest findings from researchers at Harvard Medical school in Boston have shown women with demanding jobs and little control over how to do them were nearly twice as likely to have suffered a heart attack compared to women with less demanding jobs and more control.

The research involved 17,415 participants in the Women's Health Study, a long-running trial looking at heart disease and cancer prevention. The women were healthy, 57 years old on average, and had worked full or part-time when the study began in 1999. The researchers then divided them into four groups based on stress they reported and looked 10 years later to see how they fared.

The study found that the high-stress group had a 40% greater overall risk of heart problems, including heart attacks, strokes or clogged arteries needing bypass surgery or an artery-opening angioplasty procedure. Women worried about losing their jobs also had higher blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight.

The researchers believe that the added stress causes harm by releasing "fight or flight" hormones, spurring inflammation and raising blood pressure.

via DailyM