By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TVBy Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – New research appears to show that stress at work takes a disproportionate toll on women.

Scientists have known that excessive stress at work can increase an employee’s risk of heart disease but a new study from China looked specifically at stroke.

Researchers found that workers with high-demand jobs but little control over their work, like restaurant servers or nursing aides, had a 22% higher risk of stroke than those in low-pressure jobs.

The researchers also found women suffered more. Women in the same positions were at a 33% higher risk of stroke.

One theory is that high-stress jobs lead to poorer diets, smoking and lack of exercise.

STRESS AND PREGNANCY

If things weigh heavy on your mind when you’re pregnant, could that affect the development of your baby?

Austrian researchers looked at 2900 mothers and had them fill out questionnaires about stress at both 18 and 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Years later, when those babies turned 10, 14, and 17 years of age they tested the kids’ motor development like hand strength, jumping distance, and fine motor skills.

Researchers found that the kids born to mothers who experienced the most stress during pregnancy had the lowest scores on motor development.

This provides more evidence that a mother’s mental health should be optimized for the health of her unborn baby.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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