(CNN) – If your body and mind are utterly exhausted, new research suggests you could be at higher risk for a potentially deadly heart flutter.
It’s better known as “burnout,” that feeling of complete exhaustion.
A new study suggests those whose energy is always zapped may be at greater risk for atrial fibrillation, also called AFib or AF.
According to the CDC, it’s the most common heart rhythm disorder and the leading cause of stroke in the U.S.
In 2017, the agency says AFib was the underlying cause of death in more than 26,000 people.
Researchers followed more than 11,000 men and women, without AFib, over a span of more than 20 years and compared findings to those who developed the disease in that time period.
The research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests chronic stress and exhaustion could be a key factor in developing the disease.
So why the potential link between the two?
While this is just a preliminary study, one researcher suggests vital exhaustion is associated with increased inflammation and increased activation of the body’s physiologic stress response, which can harm heart tissue and potentially lead to AFib development.
Those who suffer from AFib may experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. But for others, it is symptomless.