Men with no history of cardiovascular disease, but who suffer from vital exhaustion, are at higher risk of a heart attack.
74% of men with hypertension were in a state of exhaustion. This fatigue was considered high for 58% of them and moderate for 16%. These figures are the result of a study presented on March 13 at the ESC Acute Cardiovascular Care Congress, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
An association between the risk of heart attack and vital exhaustion was demonstrated. The latter is defined by Dmitriy Panov, one of the authors of the study as excessive fatigue, feelings of depression, and increased irritability.
2.7 Times More Likely to Have a Heart attack Within 5 years
The researchers analyzed health and psychological data of 657 men between the ages of 25 and 64 for 14 years. They initially had no history of cardiovascular disease. Participants were divided into three groups: 15% had a high level of vital exhaustion 52%, had moderate levels, and 33% were not suffering from it. The results were compelling: men with moderate or high levels of burnout had a 2.7-fold increased risk of having a heart attack within five years. This figure dropped to 2.25 within 10 years and 2.1 within 14 years. So there is a link between burnout and heart attacks.
Emotional Status is a Risk Factor
Men who have never been married, are divorced or widowed, are at greater risk of heart attack associated with burnout. “Living alone means less social support, and we know from previous studies that this is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes,” says Dmitriy Panov.
Education Level and Age
The educational level also plays a role. Men with a university degree have a lower risk of heart attack compared to those without. Finally, and not surprisingly, younger people were less affected. The risk of a heart attack due to burnout was 3.8 times higher in the 45-54 age group and 5.9 times higher in the 55-64 age group compared to the 24-34 age group. Thus, all these indicators point to the effect of social conditions on burnout. The worse they are, the greater the risk of developing heart disease.
Improving Well-being and Strengthening Social Ties to Reduce Burnout
“Efforts to improve well-being and reduce stress at home and at work can help reduce vital exhaustion,” concludes Dmitriy Panov. Participation in associations can be a way to increase social support and become less vulnerable to stress. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, these measures should be good for cardiovascular health, a necessity for many people, as according to the CDC, 805,000 people suffer from heart attacks in the US every year.