Your burnout might be killing you
A 25 year study of 11,000 people published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology has warned that those with the most common symptoms of burnout have a 20% higher than normal risk of atrial fibrillation – the most common form of arrhythmia – as well as a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.
The study warns that common symptoms of occupational burnout, such as excessive tiredness, low energy, irritability and demoralisation, may precipitate in more serious health issues.
The study’s lead author, Parveen Garg of the University of Southern California, says burnout may harm our hearts by over-stimulating them.
“When we are persistently stressed or exhausted by work, it can cause chronic stimulation of the fight-or-flight response. This involves constantly raised levels of stress hormones such as adrenalin and norepinephrine. These can damage the tissue of your heart,” Garg says.
The study has also indicated a relationship between burnout and chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and dementia.