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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nurses in the accident and emergency dept of Selly Oak Hospital work during a busy shift on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A female nurse, a social worker, a health aide and a retail cashier walk into a bar…

What do the four of them have in common?

They probably have worse heart health than women in other professions!

For the Women’s Health Initiative Study, researchers looked at more than 65,000 postmenopausal women with an average age of 63. They reviewed the 20 most common occupations and accounted for age, race, marital status, and education and found nearly 13% of all participants had poor cardiovascular health, but several jobs were associated with a higher risk of it.

Compared to women in other occupations:

  • Social workers were 36% more likely to have poor heart health
  • Retail cashiers were 33% more likely to have poor heart health
  • Women in some health care positions were up to 16% more likely to have poor heart health, especially those in nursing and psychiatry and home health aides.
  • Registered nurses had a 14% higher risk of poor cardiovascular health

But on the flip side, researchers found women in some jobs were less likely to suffer from it. Female real estate brokers and sales agents were 24% less likely and administrative assistants were 11% less likely to have poor heart health.


Intern Crystal