Job burnout increased risk of heart disease

Individuals with high levels of job burnout experienced a significantly higher risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with individuals with low levels of burnout, according to recent study results.

More than 8,800 healthy employed men and women were examined at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. The researchers measured burnout by the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure and coronary heart disease (CHD) was defined as a composite of acute myocardial infarction, diagnosed ischemic heart disease and diagnosed angina pectoris.

During an average follow-up of 3.4 years, researchers identified 93 new cases of CHD. After adjustment for various risk factors, burnout was associated with a 40% increased risk of developing CHD. Those who were identified as being in the top 20% of the burnout scale were found to have a 79% increased risk of CHD.

Researcher Sharon Toker, PhD, of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Management, said that these findings were more extreme than the researchers had expected and predicted that with a more extended follow-up period, the results would be even more dramatic.

For more information:

Toker S. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2012;74:840-847.

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