International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, 10:44

Vital exhaustion in relation to lifestyle and lipid profile in healthy women


    • Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska Institutet
  • Staffan Ahnve
    • Preventive Medicine, Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska Institutet
  • Karin Schenck-Gustafsson
    • Department of Medicine Cariology UnitKarolinska Hospital
  • Kristina Orth-Gomér
    • Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health SciencesKarolinska Institutet
  • Sarah P. Wamala
    • The Swedish National Institute of Public Health

DOI: 10.1207/S15327558IJBM1001_04

Cite this article as:
Koertge, J.C., Ahnve, S., Schenck-Gustafsson, K. et al. Int. J. Behav. Med. (2003) 10: 44. doi:10.1207/S15327558IJBM1001_04


“Vital exhaustion,” characterized by fatigue, irritability, and demoralization, precedes new and recurrent coronary events. Biological mechanisms explaining this association are not fully understood. The objective was to investigate the relationship between vital exhaustion, lifestyle, and lipid profile. Vital exhaustion, smoking, body mass index (BMI), alcohol consumption, exercise capacity, and serum lipids were determined in 300 healthy women, aged 56.4 ± 7.1 years. No statistically significant associations were found between vital exhaustion and lifestyle variables. Divided into quartiles, vital exhaustion was inversely related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apolipoprotein A1 in a linear fashion after adjustment for age, BMI, exercise capacity, and alcohol consumption. A multivariate-adjusted vital exhaustion-score in the top quartile, as compared to one in the lowest, was associated with 12% lower HDL-C and8% lower apolipoprotein A1(p < .05). Inconclusion, alterations in lipid metabolism may be a possible mediating mechanism between vital exhaustion and coronary heart disease. The impact of lifestyle variables was weak.

Key words

vital exhaustionlifestylelipidswomenstresshigh density cholesterol

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2003