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Women's Safety and Health Issues at Work

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Health Concerns: Heart Disease

Little is known about job risks for coronary heart disease. Studies have found heart disease in some people may be linked to certain chemical and physical factors:

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as carbon disulfide, nitroglycerin and carbon monoxide, has been found to affect the heart.
  • Environmental tobacco smoke, extreme heat, and extreme cold are possible risk factors for heart disease.
  • Many studies have found a link between work-related stress and heart disease.
  • There is also evidence that job noise and increased blood pressure may be linked, as well as shift work and heart disease.
  • Though more physical activity results in less heart disease, heavy lifting (in work and non-work settings) has been linked with increased chance of heart attack.

NIOSH Publications

Recent investigations of cardiovascular deaths of female fire fighters:

  • July, 2009
  • December 30, 2005
  • October 2, 2002
  • February 22, 2000

Related Resources

Associations of occupation, job control and job demands with intima-media thickness: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
In a study in which women made up more than half of the subjects, blue-collar jobs and low levels of job control were associated with the development of subclinical atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries without apparent symptoms).

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