As increasing numbers of women take up full-time jobs outside the home, there has been concern that they will lose their natural immunity to heart disease.
These apprehensions are proving to be unfounded, says Suzanne G. Haynes, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Epidemiology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md.
In an eight-year prospective study of 1,656 persons that formed part of the Framingham investigation, Haynes and colleagues Manning Feinleib, MD, and William B. Kannel, MD, compared findings on 465 working women, 466 housewives, and 725 men. Women employed outside the home for over half their adult lives were classified as working women; the remainder were considered housewives.
The study started in 1965, and in the two following years the subjects, whose ages ranged from 45 to 74 years, answered a 300-item psychosocial questionnaire from which 20 scales were derived. Various measures of behavior, situational pressure, sociocultural mobility,