Objectives. We examined the relationship between burden of providing care to non-ill children and grandchildren and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) among women. Methods. A prospective cohort study was conducted as part of the Nurses' Health Study among 54 412 women aged 46 to 71 years who were registered nurses. Women answered questions about their child care responsibilities. Results. We documented 321 incident cases of CHD during 4 years of follow-up. Multivariate analyses showed that caring for non-ill children 21 hours or more per week and caring for non-ill grandchildren 9 hours or more per week (vs no caregiving) were associated with an increased risk of CHD (relative risks were 1.59 and 1.55, respectively). Conclusions. High levels of care provision to grandchildren (and possibly children) may increase the risk of CHD among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1944
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


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