FEEL exhausted, without energy and irritable?
It turns out that you could have exhaustion, a syndrome that could increase your risk of a fatal stroke, doctors warn.
That is the warning from heart experts who said that stress at work and at home can be deadly.
Doctors at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles said that exhaustion increases the risk of a condition called atrial fibrillation (AF) by 20 percent.
It is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats, and an estimated 17 million people in Europe and 10 million in the US. UU. They will receive a diagnosis next year.
The condition can be fatal, increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure.
Bad exhaustion for the heart
However, what causes atrial fibrillation is not fully understood.
In the past, studies have suggested that psychological distress could cause atrial fibrillation.
But so far doctors have not considered the role that extreme exhaustion could play.
Dr. Parveen Garg, who led the study, said: “Vital exhaustion, commonly known as burnout syndrome, is usually caused by prolonged and deep stress at work or at home.
“It differs from depression, which is characterized by low mood, guilt and low self-esteem.
“The results of our study further establish the damage that can be caused in people suffering from exhaustion that is not controlled.”
Dr. Garg’s team examined the medical records of more than 11,000 people, looking for the presence of vital exhaustion, anger, use of antidepressants and little social support.
Then they followed them for 25 years to see if they developed atrial fibrillation.
The team found that people with the highest levels of life depletion had a 20 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation, compared to those who showed almost no signs of exhaustion.
More work to do
More research is needed, but Dr. Garg said there are probably two things at stake.
“Life depletion is associated with greater inflammation and greater activation of the physiological response to body stress,” he explained.
“When these two things are triggered chronically, they can have serious and damaging effects on the heart tissue, which could lead to the development of this arrhythmia.”
Dr. Garg noted that previous studies had found links between the use of antidepressants and an increased risk of AF.
But he said his findings, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, do not reflect that link.
Their results also did not link anger or lack of social support with the deadly condition, a finding in line with previous research.
“Clearly, there is still a lot of work to do,” he added.
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat.
A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute while resting.
You can measure it by feeling the pulse in your neck or wrist.
In people with atrial fibrillation, their heart rate is irregular, often much faster than 100 beats per minute.
It can cause symptoms that include:
- short of breath
- notable heart palpitations, where it feels like it is beating or fluttering
In some cases there are no symptoms, so it is important to see your GP if you are worried or if you notice any signs.
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“It is already known that exhaustion increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.”
“We now report that it can also increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a potentially serious cardiac arrhythmia.”
“You cannot overstate the importance of avoiding burnout through careful attention and managing personal stress levels as a way to help preserve overall cardiovascular health.”