The risk of heart disease may be higher for young women who work in stressful jobs, scientists in Denmark have suggested.
Although similar studies in the past have mostly focused on men, it has been known that so-called high-flying jobs can cause the disease.
The 15-year research, known as the Danish Nurse Cohort Study and involving 12,116 female nurses aged 45-64, showed that women who said their job was a little too pressured and stressful were 25% more likely to develop heart disease than women who deemed their job manageable.
Women who said their job was far too stressful were 35% more likely to develop heart disease than those who said they were not under stress at work, after other factors such as whether they smoked were considered.
By 2008, 580 of the nurses involved in the research had developed heart disease, 138 of whom had had a heart attack, 369 had angina and 73 had other types of the disease.
The scientists also investigated how much control the women believed they had over their job and concluded that this had little bearing on the number of nurses who had heart disease.
The research findings were published in the Occupational And Environmental Medicine journal.
The researchers, from Glostrup University Hospital in Denmark, said older women may have less of a risk of heart disease for several reasons, including if they have already left work.
They concluded: “This study adds to the previous body of evidence suggesting harmful effects of excessive psychological demands at work on cardiac health, but is one among very few that demonstrates the effect among women.
“Additional work should be carried out to identify factors contributing to the perceived high work pressure.”