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February 3, 1989

Gender and Stress

JAMA. 1989;261(5):774-775. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420050126058

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Gender and Stress is an impressive, in-depth study of a subject of concern to all clinicians and students of human behavior. What accounts for the gender differences we note in certain medical and psychological conditions? Why do women live longer than men? Why do women have less coronary heart disease and hypertension, especially in the premenopausal years, ie, earlier than men? Women seek medical help more often than men. Are they sick more often, or do they seek help earlier in the course of the disease? Why is the incidence of depression in women two to three times that of men? Most of us have our own personal explanations for these gender differences, but the experts in the field do not find things so clear-cut.

It has been presumed that women's health is protected because they have not been in the workplace. If this is true, then as more women