Paid worse: Unfair wages endanger women's health

Paid worse: Unfair wages endanger women's health

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Depression, diabetes, heart problems: health risk for women through unfair wages

Last year, a study showed that women are sick significantly more often than men. The difference between the sexes can obviously also be explained by income. Because, according to a current study, unfair wages endanger the health of women. You have an increased risk of stress-related diseases.

Increased risk of illness due to large workload

According to experts, stress at work has many negative health effects. Studies have shown that this increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, a high workload in the job goes hand in hand with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, as scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München reported a few years ago. Apparently, it is not only the workload that makes you ill, but also the unequal treatment when it comes to paying workers: According to a recent study, the health risk of women increases if they are paid unfairly.

Stressful illnesses due to unjust income

Women who perceive their income as unfair for a longer period of time are at a significantly higher risk of developing stressful illnesses such as depression, diabetes mellitus or heart problems.

This risk is lower for men who feel unfairly paid. This is now confirmed by a study based on the data from the long-term study Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) representative of Germany at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) Berlin.

The study was recently published in the journal "Das Gesundheitswesen".

Surveyed thousands of workers over the years

A group of health and social scientists from the Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences analyzed the data of 5657 employed men and women who were interviewed between 2005 and 2013 as part of the long-term study SOEP in order to find out how an income perceived as unjust affects health were.

Among other things, these have provided information every two years since 2005 on the level of income they would consider fair.

In addition, since 2009 they have been answering the question every two years of whether a doctor has diagnosed a stress-related illness. In addition to depression, diabetes mellitus and heart problems, these diseases also include asthma and high blood pressure.

Relationship more pronounced in women

The result of the study shows: The longer the respondents rated their income as unjust, the more often they were diagnosed with a stress-related illness. However, this relationship was much weaker in the men affected than in the women.

"The greatest risk of developing a stress-related illness is for women who work full-time and feel that they are being unfairly paid," says social scientist Claudia Boscher, one of the authors.

Even if these women had only once assessed their income as unfair in the course of the SOEP survey, the probability that they would diagnose a stress illness in the subsequent investigation period was significantly higher than for women who had found their income to be fair in the long term. (ad)

Author and source information

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