Women have moved into the workforce in an unmistakable wave. In modern societies today, many of them bear the dual burden of managing a home and career. The infrastructure necessary to help them: crèches, dependable childcare, help from husbands, gadgets to make housework easier, is not yet in place. This generation of transitional women is at high risk from heart disease, particularly during the menopausal years. Statistics show that women have fifty per cent chance of dying of heart disease, ten times higher than their risk of dying by breast cancer. Dual responsibilities have reduced the woman’s capacity to perform her role of a primary caregiver. Her ability to absorb and
reduce tensions has been greatly compromised. A common response is the super-mom syndrome. This is a woman who feels that she can be a super career woman and a super-mom. Maintaining this dazzling image can have a damaging impact on the overall health of women in this transitional era. The changing structure of the family, the blurred role definitions are certainly risk factors in the emerging pattern of early heart disease. Huge reserves of patience are required to cope with this new, changed family structure. Most do not have these reserves.