/publications/issue/2004/2004-03/2004-03-7734

Watching Grandchildren May Hurt the Heart

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Grandma's baby-sitting days may be over. Data from the Nurses' Health Study found women who take care of grandchildren for >9 hours a week have a greater risk of developing heart disease. In a study of 54,412 women aged 46 to 71, 321 women were diagnosed with heart disease in 4 years of follow-up. After adjusting the data to take into consideration factors such as weight, age, and education, the probability of heart disease was 1.55 times as high for grandmothers in the 9-hour group, compared with women who did not take care of children at all.