According to a new study from the Journal of Occupational and Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), women who experience job burnout and men who experience depression were found to have increased levels of two inflammation biomarkers fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP). Both of these biomarkers have been associated in numerous studies, with an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease and stroke, over and above the conventional risk factors like blood lipids and glucose.
In the first large-scale study showing a physiological difference in how men and women react to emotional states, researcher Sharon Toker, Ph.D., candidate of Tel Aviv University and co-authors examined micro-inflammation blood markers and levels of burnout, depression and anxiety in 630 healthy, employed women and 933 healthy, employed men to determine which emotions are more likely to present more problems for each sex. Blood levels of CRP and fibrinogen concentrations were used to measure levels of micro-inflammation. Fibrinogen is a blood-clotting factor that responds to vascular and tissue injury and CRP is a complex set of proteins produced when the body is dealing with a major infection or trauma.
Depression in the study is defined as a generalized distress encompassing all life domains and burnout is defined as a depletion of an individual's energetic resources at work. Anxiety is defined as a person experiencing negatively-toned arousal.
The women in the study who scored higher on burnout scores had a 1.6 fold risk of having an elevated level of CRP (>3), and elevated
Contact: Pam Willenz
American Psychological Association