Woman Executives and Mr. Moms at Higher Risk for Health Problems

Men and women who defy traditional societal roles may suffer health consequences such as heart disease, researchers reported recently.

“Nontraditional roles may not be healthy,” stated lead author Dr. Elaine D. Eaker, head of Eaker Epidemiology Enterprises.

Eaker and colleagues at the Framingham Offspring Study, followed patterns of heart disease and death among nearly 3,700 participants for 10 years in the 1980’s. The researchers examined whether factors such as job-related stress has an impact on heart disease and overall mortality.

The investigators did not find that high amounts of job stress, characterized as having high demands with little autonomy, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, they did find that women who were in positions of high authority with high job demands suffered higher rates of heart disease than other women, although their male counterparts did not.

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