'Vital exhaustion' increases chances of heart disease: report

Chicago – A combination of fatigue, increased irritability and feelings of demoralization – also called "vital exhaustion" – may increase a healthy person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a report from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt hospitals in New York.

Researchers analyzed 11 prospective studies that examined the link between vital exhaustion and first-time heart disease among more than 60,000 people. They found that vital exhaustion increased the risk of first-time heart disease in both men and women by 36 percent. Researchers said vital exhaustion joined other psychosocial risk factors for heart disease, including anxiety, depression and social isolation.

“As society becomes increasingly fast paced, there is an increasing tendency for people to overwork while cutting back on sleep, exercise, and the rest and relaxation we all need to renew ourselves and prevent the factors that cause vital exhaustion,” Dr. Alan Rozanski, co-author of the study and chief of the Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt, said in a press release.

The research was presented Nov. 17 at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014 conference.