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Psychosom Med. 1999 Nov-Dec;61(6):828-33.

Association between burnout at work and leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation.

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  • 1Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Institute, Ra'annana, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.



This study examined whether burnout at work is associated with leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation (LAA), a phenomenon known to be affected by stress.


The LAA levels of 179 employees (68 men and 111 women) of Tel Aviv University were determined when the employees underwent their annual routine medical checkup. Blood pressure and toxic chemical exposure were also measured, and background data were retrieved from medical records. Information on burnout and somatic complaints (known to be a general marker of stress) was collected through a self-report questionnaire.


Total burnout and each of its subcomponents, emotional exhaustion, chronic fatigue, and cognitive weariness, was significantly associated with LAA levels, even after controlling for age, sex, and educational level. Burnout and somatic complaints intercorrelated positively, but somatic complaints were not significantly associated with LAA levels before or after controlling for the above possible confounders.


Burnout was positively associated with LAA levels. This finding is consistent with the growing evidence of the negative impact of burnout on physical health. The lack of an association between somatic complaints and LAA levels reinforces the claim that burnout and stress are two different concepts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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