Vital exhaustion can increase the risk of a heart attack in men who have never been married, divorced, and widowed
Men suffering from vital exhaustion are more likely to have heart attacks, according to a study presented today at ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The risk of myocardial infarction associated with fatigue was particularly pronounced in men who were never married, divorced, and widowed.
“Vital exhaustion refers to excessive fatigue, feelings of demoralization, and increased irritability,” said study author Dr. Dmitriy Panov from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russian Federation. “It is believed to be a response to persistent problems in people’s lives, especially when they cannot adapt to prolonged exposure to psychological stressors.”
This study examined the association between vital fatigue and the risk of myocardial infarction in men with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The study used data from the World Health Organization (WHO) MONICA project. A representative sample of 657 men aged 25 to 64 in Novosibirsk was included in 1994.
The symptoms of vital exhaustion were assessed at the start of the study using the questionnaire on vital exhaustion in Maastricht accepted by the MONICA protocol. Participants were classified according to their level of vital exhaustion: none, medium, or high. Participants were screened for heart attacks for 14 years.
Overall, two-thirds (67%) of the men had vital exhaustion (15% had a high level and 52% had a moderate level) while 33% were unaffected. Almost three quarters (74%) of men with high blood pressure had vital exhaustion – high in 58% and moderate in 16%.
In the entire group of men, the researchers analyzed the relationship between vital fatigue at the start of the study and the risk of a heart attack. Compared to men without vital exhaustion, men with moderate or high values had a 2.7-fold higher risk of a heart attack within five years, a 2.25-fold higher risk within 10 years and a 2.1-fold higher risk Risk within 14 years (p for all <0.05)).
When the analysis was checked for social factors (education, occupation and marital status) and age, the influence of vital exhaustion on heart attack risk decreased but remained statistically significant. For example, men with moderate or high scores compared to men without vital fatigue had 16% more likely to have a myocardial infarction over 14 years of follow-up than men with no adjustment to social factors and age (p <0.05).
In the adjusted analysis, the risk of heart attack-related fatigue was higher in never-married, divorced, and widowed men than married men – with risk rates of 3.7, 4.7, and 7.0, respectively. The risk of heart attack-related fatigue was 2.2 times higher for elementary school graduates than for men with university degrees. Middle-aged men were more affected than younger men: Compared to 24 to 34-year-olds, the risk of exhaustion-related heart attack was 3.8-fold higher in 45- to 54-year-olds and 5.9-fold higher in 55-year-olds -64 year olds.
Regarding the impact of marital status on the relationship between fatigue and heart attack, Dr. Panov: “Living alone means less social support that we know from previous studies is an independent risk factor for myocardial infarction and stroke.”
He found that the results suggest a pattern where social disadvantage is related to vital exhaustion, which is linked to a higher risk of heart disease. “The relationship between fatigue and impending cardiovascular events should be considered when assessing risk,” he said.
Dr. Panov concluded, “Efforts to improve wellbeing and reduce stress at home and at work can help reduce life exhaustion. Engaging in community groups is one way to increase social support and make it less prone to stress.” Along with a healthy lifestyle, these actions should be beneficial to heart health. “
European Society of Cardiology