Research Article
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Published Online: 25 May 2006

Work Resumption after Newly Diagnosed Coronary Heart Disease: Findings on the Importance of Paid Leave

Publication: Journal of Women's Health
Volume 15, Issue Number 4


Objectives: Studies have demonstrated the health benefits of work resumption for adults experiencing health problems, but there are important gaps in the research examining the factors that would help these individuals return to work. This study examines if working conditions predict whether women who experience angina or a myocardial infarction (MI) return to work.
Methods: A sample of 289 employed women from the Nurses' Health Study was analyzed. Bivariate chi-square and logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between working conditions and the likelihood of returning to work after experiencing an MI or angina.
Results: Seventy-nine percent of women returned to work after experiencing an MI or angina. Women who had paid leave were substantially more likely to return to work after an MI or angina episode than women without this benefit (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.7, p = 0.04).
Conclusions: Public and corporate policies to promote paid leave for female workers who experience a serious health condition are likely to help these workers return to their jobs, thereby providing important health and economic benefits for both workers and society.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Women's Health
Journal of Women's Health
Volume 15Issue Number 4May 2006
Pages: 430 - 441
PubMed: 16724890


Published online: 25 May 2006
Published in print: May 2006


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    Alison Earle, Ph.D.
    Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
    John Z. Ayanian, M.D.
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
    Jody Heymann, M.D., Ph.D.
    McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

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