Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Job burnout can severely compromise heart health

Date:
March 12, 2013
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University has found a link between job burnout and coronary heart disease (CHD), the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that leads to angina and heart attacks. She says that her findings were more extreme than she expected and make burnout a stronger predictor of CHD than many other risk factors.

Americans work longer hours, take fewer vacation days, and retire later than employees in other industrialized countries around the globe. With such demanding careers, it's no surprise that many experience job burnout -- physical, cognitive, and emotional exhaustion that results from stress at work. Researchers have found that burnout is also associated with obesity, insomnia, and anxiety.

Now Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management and her fellow researchers -- Profs. Samuel Melamed, Shlomo Berliner, David Zeltser and Itzhak Shpira of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine -- have found a link between job burnout and coronary heart disease (CHD), the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that leads to angina or heart attacks.

Those who were identified as being in the top 20 percent of the burnout scale were found to have a 79 percent increased risk of coronary disease, the researchers reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Calling the results "alarming," Dr. Toker says that these findings were more extreme than the researchers had expected -- and make burnout a stronger predictor of CHD than many other classical risk factors, including smoking, blood lipid levels, and physical activity.

Taking a toll on the heart

Some of the factors that contribute to burnout are common experiences in the workplace, including high stress, heavy workload, a lack of control over job situations, a lack of emotional support, and long work hours. This leads to physical wear and tear, which will eventually weaken the body.

Knowing that burnout has been associated with other cardiovascular risk factors, such as heightened amounts of cholesterol or fat in the bloodstream, the researchers hypothesized that it could also be a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Over the course of the study, a total of 8,838 apparently healthy employed men and women between the ages of 19 and 67 who presented for routine health examinations were followed for an average of 3.4 years. Each participant was measured for burnout levels and examined for signs of CHD. The researchers controlled for typical risk factors for the disease, such as sex, age, family history of heart disease, and smoking.

During the follow-up period, 93 new cases of CHD were identified. Burnout was associated with a 40% increased risk of developing CHD. But the 20% of participants with the highest burnout scores had a 79% increased risk. Dr. Toker predicts that with a more extended follow-up period, the results would be even more dramatic.

Avoiding long-term damage

These results are valuable for preventative medicine, says Dr. Toker. Healthcare providers who know that their patients are experiencing burnout can closely monitor for signs of coronary heart disease as well.

Once burnout begins to develop, it sparks a downwards spiral and ultimately becomes a chronic condition, she warns. Employers need to prioritize prevention by promoting healthy and supportive work environments and keeping watch for early warning signs of the condition. Simple diagnostic questionnaires that identify burnout are already available online. Workers can contribute to prevention by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising more regularly, getting seven to eight hours sleep per night, and seeking psychological therapy if required.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Toker, S. Melamed, S. Berliner, D. Zeltser, I. Shapira. Burnout and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Study of 8838 Employees. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2012; 74 (8): 840 DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31826c3174

Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Job burnout can severely compromise heart health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134906.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2013, March 12). Job burnout can severely compromise heart health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134906.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Job burnout can severely compromise heart health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134906.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins