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Juggling roles puts women under stress and could a universal flu jab be on horizon?

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 23 May.

Women are at particularly high risk of psychological stress from trying to juggle many different roles, reports the Daily Mail today.

The paper says the first systematic investigation of national mental health surveys shows psychological disorders are 20-40% more common among women than men.

The research is highlighted in a new book by Professor Daniel Freeman, a clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, who says pressure to fill many different roles is probably a major factor contributing to women’s increased vulnerability to mental health problems.

Professor Freeman said: ‘Given that domestic work is undervalued, and considering that women tend to be paid less, find it harder to advance in a career, have to juggle multiple roles, and are bombarded with images of apparent female “perfection”, it would be surprising if there weren’t some emotional and psychological cost.

‘These are the kind of pressures that can leave women feeling as if they’ve somehow failed; as if they don’t have what it takes to be successful; as if they’ve been left behind. And those kinds of feelings can lead to psychological problems like anxiety and depression.’

Over at the Telegraph there is news of a novel universal influenza vaccine that could make annual flu jabs a thing of the past. It is hoped the vaccine would provide long-term protection against all types of influenza with a single injection.

Scientists from the Vaccine Research Centre in Maryland, USA, developed the vaccine, which works by attaching to parts of the virus that do not mutate.

They report in Nature that the vaccine was up to ten times as effective as other vaccines in animal models.

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