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Work, stress and cigarette smoking as predictors of cardiovascular activity in female nurses

Posmyk, Joyce I. (2001) Work, stress and cigarette smoking as predictors of cardiovascular activity in female nurses. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Previous studies have shown that work stress can cause an increase in blood pressure (BP) and in some case heart rate (HR), relative to home measurements. It has been suggested that elevations in BP and HR may increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the primary cause of morbidity and mortality for women. It is also thought that premenopausal women show lower BP and higher HR responses to stress than other demographic groups, because of the effects of oestrogen. A recent laboratory study has suggested that women who smoke cigarettes may increase their CVD risk, partly because of a decline in their oestrogen levels as a result of smoking. Thus women who smoke may show different BP and HR responses than non-smokers. The aims of the study were firstly to investigate the effects of work and stress on BP and HR in working women, and secondly to explore whether these effects were different in smokers and non-smokers. A group of 38 female nursing staff participated in a 24-hour period of ambulatory BP and HR monitoring which included one daytime work shift. Reported mood, perceived busyness and control over their activity, posture, location, activity, smoking behaviour and intake of food and drink were recorded in diaries during the monitoring period. It was found that work ambulatory BP and HR were significantly higher when compared with home measurements. Smokers (N = 9) did not demonstrate differences in their cardiovascular responses when compared with non- smokers.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:2001
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Jun 2012 15:23

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