Circulating fibrinogen but not D-dimer level is associated with vital exhaustion in school teachers

Department of Theoretical and Clinical Psychobiology, Graduate School of Psychobiology, University of Trier, Trier, Germany.
Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) (Impact Factor: 2.72). 02/2008; 11(4):250-8. DOI: 10.1080/10253890701714831
Source: PubMed


Meta-analyses have established elevated fibrinogen and D-dimer levels in the circulation as biological risk factors for the development and progression of coronary artery disease (CAD). Here, we investigated whether vital exhaustion (VE), a known psychosocial risk factor for CAD, is associated with fibrinogen and D-dimer levels in a sample of apparently healthy school teachers. The teaching profession has been proposed as a potentially high stressful occupation due to enhanced psychosocial stress at the workplace. Plasma fibrinogen and D-dimer levels were measured in 150 middle-aged male and female teachers derived from the first year of the Trier-Teacher-Stress-Study. Log-transformed levels were analyzed using linear regression. Results yielded a significant association between VE and fibrinogen (p = 0.02) but not D-dimer controlling for relevant covariates. Further investigation of possible interaction effects resulted in a significant association between fibrinogen and the interaction term "VE x gender" (p = 0.05). In a secondary analysis, we reran linear regression models for males and females separately. Gender-specific results revealed that the association between fibrinogen and VE remained significant in males but not females. In sum, the present data support the notion that fibrinogen levels are positively related to VE. Elevated fibrinogen might be one biological pathway by which chronic work stress may impact on teachers' cardiovascular health in the long run.

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    • "More recently, a study showed that reduced vagal outflow to the heart was correlated with elevated plasma fibrinogen levels independent of the established cardiovascular risk factors [17]. Psychobiological trials also suggested a dynamic relationship between depression and the plasma fibrinogen concentration which serviced as an inflammatory marker [18] [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Some studies have suggested a relation of plasma fibrinogen to the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, whether plasma fibrinogen can predict the presence and severity of CAD in patients with diabetes mellitus has not been determined. Methods: A total of consecutive 373 diabetic patients with typical angina pectoris who received coronary angiography were enrolled and classified into three groups by tertiles of Gensini score (GS, low group <8; intermediate group 8~28; high group >28). The relationship between fibrinogen and GS was evaluated. Results: There were correlations of fibrinogen with hemoglobin A1c, C-reactive protein, and GS (r = 0.17, r = 0.52, and r = 0.21, resp.; all P < 0.001). Area under the receivers operating characteristic curve of fibrinogen was 0.62 (95% CI 0.56-0.68, P < 0.001) for predicting a high GS. Multivariate analysis suggested that plasma fibrinogen was an independent predictor of a high GS for diabetic patients (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.04-1.88, and P = 0.026) after adjusting for traditional risk factors of CAD. Conclusions: The present data indicated that plasma fibrinogen, a readily measurable systematic inflammatory marker, appeared to be an independent predictor for the severity of CAD in diabetic patients.
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    • "The psychophysiological mechanisms in the relationship between VE, depression, and CAD are not fully understood [1] [2] [4] but could partially relate to a hypercoagulable state that is characterized by activated coagulation and/or impaired fibrinolysis [8]. For instance, clotting factor VII, fibrinogen, and the main fibrinolysis inhibitor plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were all elevated in VE [9] [10] [11] and depression [12] [13] [14]. Chronic low-grade hypercoagulability promotes atherosclerosis and its thrombotic complications [15] [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vital exhaustion and depression are psychosocial risk factors of coronary artery disease. A hypercoagulable state in response to acute psychosocial stress contributes to atherothrombotic events. We aimed to investigate the hypothesis that vital exhaustion and depression correlate with stress-induced changes in the hypercoagulability marker D-dimer. Thirty-eight healthy and nonsmoking school teachers (mean age 50+/-8 years, 55% women) completed the nine-item Maastricht Vital Exhaustion Questionnaire and the seven-item depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Within 1 week, subjects twice underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (i.e., preparation phase, mock job interview, and mental arithmetic that totaled 13 min). Plasma D-dimer levels were determined at five time points during the protocol. Vital exhaustion (P=.022; eta(2)=.080) and depressive symptoms (P=.011; eta(2)=.090) were associated with stress-induced changes in D-dimer levels over time controlling for sex and age. Elevated levels of vital exhaustion (r=-.46, P=.005) and of depression (r=-.51, P=.002) correlated with reduced D-dimer increase from pre-stress to immediately post-stress. Also, elevated vital exhaustion (r=.34, P=.044) and depression (r=.41, P=.013) were associated with increase (i.e., attenuated recovery) of D-dimer levels between 20 and 45 min post-stress. Controlling for stress hormone and blood pressure reactivity did not substantially alter these results. The findings suggest an attenuated immediate D-dimer stress response and delayed recovery of D-dimer levels post-stress with elevated vital exhaustion and depressive symptoms. In particular, the prolonged hypercoagulability after stress cessation might contribute to the atherothrombotic risk previously observed with vital exhaustion and depression, even at subclinical levels.
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