Women who work are healthier than women who don't have jobs, suggests a study presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in San Francisco. The University of Pennsylvania study concluded the health benefits that women derive from working aren't diminished by longer work hours or combining longer work hours with those of a spouse. But the gap in wages between men and women is a problem that influences gender health differences. "Women might have worse health than they might otherwise, but not because they are overworked, but rather because they are underpaid ...," says the report "Women who are employed, regardless of the number of hours they work or how they combine work with family obligations, report better health than do those who are unemployed," researchers and sociologist said in a prepared statement. They used data from the General Social Survey to examine trends in American women's self-rated health and employment between 1974 and 2000. He found more women in the United States are working, more of them are working longer hours and more of them are combining full-time work with raising a young child. Even so, women overall continue to experience better health than they did in earlier years and this trend is a reflection of the growing ranks of working women, the study said. "What the present results suggest is that the health benefits of women's employment may be derived in no small part from the income it provides. This is not something scholars have focused on in the past, but it is important and should not be neglected" concludes the report