It's well known that stress can take a toll on the body in multiple ways, but a new study suggests that it may impact women's health in a way it doesn't affect men's.
The research, published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine, tracked 7,443 men and women working in Ontario, Canada over nine years. The results showed that low job control -- defined in a previous study as minimal "control over [one's] tasks and [one's] conduct during the working day" -- increased women's risk for diabetes, but did not have the same effect on men. None of the participants had a history of diabetes.
Peter Smith, Ph.D., the study's lead author, wrote that women's risk could be caused by a stress-induced change in immune system functioning or hormone levels, or it could be due to "changes in health behavior patterns, particularly those related to diet and energy expenditure, possibly as coping mechanisms."
That second conjecture seems in line with the results of a Finnish study published in April which showed women who felt exhaustion, cynicism, the sense that their work was meaningless, and a "lost occupational self-respect caused by chronic work stress" were less likely to reduce their emotional and uncontrolled eating than women who weren't so burned out.