Meta-Analysis of Relation of Vital Exhaustion to Cardiovascular Disease Events

Randy Cohen, Chirag Bavishi, Syed Haider, Jincy Thankachen, Alan Rozanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To assess the net impact of vital exhaustion on cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, we conducted a systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, and PsychINFO (through April 2016) to identify all studies which investigated the relation between vital exhaustion (VE) and health outcomes. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) a cohort study (prospective cohort or historical cohort) consisting of adults (>18 years); (2) at least 1 self-reported or interview-based assessment of VE or exhaustion; (3) evaluated the association between vital exhaustion or exhaustion and relevant outcomes; and (4) reported adjusted risk estimates of vital exhaustion/exhaustion for outcomes. Maximally adjusted effect estimates with 95% CIs along with variables used for adjustment in multivariate analysis were also abstracted. Primary study outcome was cardiovascular events. Secondary outcomes were stroke and all-cause mortality. Seventeen studies (19 comparisons) with a total of 107,175 participants were included in the analysis. Mean follow-up was 6 years. VE was significantly associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events (relative risk 1.53, 95% CI 1.28 to 1.83, p <0.001) and all-cause mortality (relative risk 1.48, 95% CI 1.28 to 1.72, p <0.001). VE also showed a trend for increased incident stroke (relative risk 1.46, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.21, p = 0.07). Subgroup analyses yielded similar results. VE is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular events, comparable in potency to common psychosocial risk factors. Our results imply a need to more closely study VE, and potentially related states of exhaustion, such as occupational burnout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1216
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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