Association between burnout at work and leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation

Yehuda Lerman, Samuel Melamed, Yuri Shragin, Talma Kushnir, Yosef Rotgoltz, Arie Shirom, Moshe Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-833
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnout
  • Exhaustion
  • Leukergy
  • Leukocyte adhesiveness/aggregation test
  • Somatic complaints
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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