Stress can affect a working mother’s heart health

Working moms with one child suffer 18 percent higher stress levels than the average woman on the job

Stress may harm a woman's heart

(KSLA) - Finding a way to balance a career, mommy duties, a social life, and personal health has been a mystery every woman attempts to solve.

An overwhelming number of women and working moms are consumed by stress. According to a new UK study, working moms with one child suffer 18 percent higher stress levels than the average woman on the job.

For moms with two or more children that number skyrockets to 40 percent.

Most women who work 40 hour work weeks end up clocking an estimated 98 hours a week while juggling career and family expectations.

The overload can cause problems with anxiety and depression. Research has also shown stress can lead to many significant health issues including severe headaches, muscle fatigue, weight gain, and breathing problems. Many doctors now say stress directly affects your heart.

"It's very bad for the heart to be under a lot of stress," said Dr. Joseph Fredi, staff cardiologist at Willis Knighton. “It's unclear whether stress causes someone's heart artery to get blocked. But here's what we do know. If you do have heart disease stress is a bad actor in precipitating a cardiac event like a heart attack and sometimes sudden death."

Dr. Fredi said heart attacks are generally more severe in women than in men and often times when there are signs of trouble in women the go ignored or undetected.

“I don't think anybody really understands why. The classic symptoms for heart trouble may not be present when women get heart trouble. The physician has to be more vigilant and suspecting heart disease in woman compared to men."

According to Dr. Fredi, published studies say that women are under tested compared to men and women of color are particularly under tested compared to any other population group.

Many women suffer from signs that stress has caused heart issues but fear of tests prevent them from catching the problem before it turns deadly.

“It’s worthwhile to trust your gut and make sure you're satisfied with your evaluation and the findings that come about."

Dr. Fredi said exercise, a healthy diet, and absolutely no smoking will cut down on your chances of heart disease significantly.

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