Confirming the perceived wisdom that life in New York is more stressful than anywhere else, a new survey released by Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, found that women in the New York tri-state area are significantly more prone to stress compared to men and women nationwide.

A national survey of more than 3,000 women and men nationally, commissioned by Northwell and its Katz Institute for Women’s Health in partnership with NRC Health, also identified and analyzed the particular sources of stress.

Among the findings:

• Women in the tri-state area are more stressed out than their national counterparts in four areas: Work-Life Balance (43% tri-state women vs 38% of females nationally and 41% of males nationally), Personal Health/Wellness (41% vs. 39%F, 33%M), Parents’ Health/Wellness (41% vs. 38%F, 32%M), and Household’s General Health/Well-Being (38% vs. 34%F, 31%M). One area where tri-state women were notably less stressed than women and men elsewhere in the country was in their ability to pay their health care bills (39% vs. 47%F and male 41%M).

• 37% of women in the tri-state area are highly stressed about the health of their parents or older relatives, compared to only 23% and 15% who are highly stressed about their children and spouses, respectively.

• For all respondents, computers/tablets (56%) led all other sources for health news and information. Mobile devices (41%) were second and smartphones (31%), third. Print newspapers and magazines averaged just 13% as a source for health news.

• Despite the boom in social media, 38% of tri-state women prefer to get their news through television as opposed to only 13% who prefer social media.

• 22% of tri-state women use a mobile app to help manage their health and wellbeing, with FitBit, My Fitness Pal and WebMD being the most utilized applications. This is compared to 19% of women and men nationally.

Conducted by NRC Health, the national study of 1,876 women in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, and 1,100 men and women nationally also measured perceived changes in respondents’ physical, mental and emotional health status, as well as eating and exercise habits. Women in the tri-state area are more likely than females nationally to participate in preventative healthcare.  Overall, men are least likely to participate in preventative services.

“We always suspected that New Yorkers, specifically women in the tri-state area, are dealing with extra pressures in managing their personal and families’ health,” said Stacey Rosen, MD, a cardiologist who serves as vice president of women’s health at Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health, which commissioned this first-of-its-kind study.  “Now we have the empirical data that enables us to develop programs and other initiatives to better support the needs of New York area women and their families.”

The study also found that 72% of tri-state females are satisfied with the quality of the health care they receive. However, 61% of those women feel that the cost of health care should be easier to manage.

“There are many important conclusions for our health system to address as we continually seek to improve the health of the populations we serve, while also connecting women with resources to access the care they need,” said Dr. Rosen.

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