Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv have found a link between job burnout and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). They designed a burnout scale taking into account such factors as working hours, amount of holidays, high levels of stress, lack of emotional support and a heavy workload. People in the top 20% of the burnout scale, had a 79% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. These results were so extreme that it would appear that burnout is a stronger predictor for cardiac disease, than the usual risk factors such as smoking, cholesterol and low physical activity.

The emotional stresses eventually lead to physical wear and tear, which in turns weakens the body. In the study, burnout was associated with an overall 40% increase in risk for developing CHD, but in the upper 20% of
patients with the highest burnout scores, the risk leapt to 79%. Once burnout develops it can become a chronic condition.

This study emphasizes the importance of a having a balanced work and home life, with good support networks, getting regular exercise, good sleep and a maintaining a healthy diet.