DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.17343 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 17343: Coronary Microvascular Function in Physician Burnout and Job Stress

Aju P Pazhenkottil, Mary Princip, Sarah A. A Holzgang, Chrysoula Garefa, Alexia Rossi, Dominik C Benz, Andreas A Giannopoulos, Philipp A Kaufmann, Ronny R Buechel, Claudia Hackl-Zuccarella, Roland von Känel
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: As a professional group, physicians are at increased risk of burnout and job stress, both of which are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease that seems more prevalent among male than female physicians. Aim: This study aimed to examine the association of burnout and job stress with coronary microvascular function, a predictor of major adverse cardiovascular events.

Methods: Thirty male physicians with clinical burnout and 30 controls without burnout were included. Burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and job stress with the effort-reward imbalance and overcommitment questionnaire. All participants underwent myocardial perfusion positron emission tomography to quantify endothelium-dependent (cold pressor test) and endothelium-independent (adenosine challenge) coronary microvascular function. Burnout and job stress were regressed on measures of coronary microvascular function in the same model while adjusting for age and body mass index.

Results: Burnout and job stress had significant and independent effects on endothelium-dependent microvascular function. Burnout was positively associated with coronary flow reserve, myocardial blood flow (MBF) response, and hyperemic MBF (r partial: 0.29 to 0.35; p-value: 0.008 to 0.027). Effort-reward ratio (r partial: -0.32 to -0.34; p-value: 0.009 to 0.017) and overcommitment (r partial: -0.29 to -0.35; p-value: 0.008 to 0.027) showed inverse associations with these measures.

Conclusions: In male physicians, burnout and high job stress showed opposite effects on coronary microvascular endothelial function. Longitudinal studies are needed to show potential clinical implications. Future studies should include burnout and job stress for a more nuanced understanding of their potential impact on cardiovascular health.

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