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Health » Life » Stress-090105
Joint Families Hard On Women

Joint Families Hard On Women In a recent study conducted in Japan it was found that ''Crowded Household's Raise Women's Heart Risk''. As simplistic as the statement sounds it actually does make a lot of sense in the changing gender role scenario.

Traditionally, women were caretakers and men bread winners. With changing gender roles, women became a larger part of the work force and more and more women today opt to have careers. Unfortunately, the reverse has not happened. A very small percentage of men are more involved with the household. So, women continue to be the homemakers and have taken on the role of being bread winners as well!


To add to this, women who live in crowded households that include children and grandparents, have ever increasing responsibilities. They are expected to look after ailing parents and young children too!

The study conducted by researchers at Osaka University followed almost 91,000 family members for as long as 14 years. The results showed that:
  • While none of the participants had serious diseases like cancer, heart ailments or stroke when the study began, the researchers found that when the monitoring period ended in 2004, 671 had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease and 339 had died of it.
  • Multigenerational living did not increase harmful habits such as smoking and heavy drinking, the researchers said. For example, only 2.7 percent of the women living with a spouse, child and parent smoked, compared to 6.3 percent of those living only with a spouse.
  • Instead, it appears to be the stress created because Japanese women are required not only to fulfill their duties as housekeepers but also go out to work, the researchers said.

Of course, the study cannot be generalized and applied to all households, but certainly this may be an indication that women need more help in the house - whether hired or from family members.

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