- June 3, 2013 —
Science Daily/University of Gothenburg
In four out of ten cases, long-term stress suffered by women leads to some form of physical complaint. This is shown by a study of 1,500 women carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Among those women who reported stress, 40 percent had psychosomatic symptoms in the form of aches and pain in their muscles and joints, 28 percent suffered from headaches or migraines, and the same proportion reported gastrointestinal complaints.
"Even when the results have been adjusted for smoking, BMI and physical activity, we can see a clear link between perceived stress and an increased incidence of psychosomatic symptoms," says Dominique Hange, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Of those women who experienced long-term stress but who did not report any stress-related problems when the study began in 1968-69, 27 percent had new symptoms in the form of muscular and joint pain when they were followed up 12 years later, and around 15 percent experienced new complaints in the form of headaches and/or gastrointestinal problems.
"The most important conclusion is that single women, women who do not work outside the home and women who smoke are particularly vulnerable to stress. Here, we see a greater need for preventive measures from society."