Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of disability and premature death throughout the world and a very serious matter of public health. Amongst the psychosocial factors that have been documented to increase the risk of CVD is stress, but the causative mechanisms remain unclear. Nursing is one of the occupations with the highest prevalence rates in job stress. Relationships between staff nurses and nurse managers are particularly important when examining stress and burnout. Although there is no convincing evidence that stress, and in particular job stress, causes health effects, the indirect evidence is strongly suggestive of work stress effect. Therefore, since there is not direct link between leadership styles and CVD, this study aims to look into the relationship between leadership styles and CVD, through burnout. This paper first focuses on the background information and the gap in the literature and then it goes on to look at research evidence to establish the possibility of an association between leadership styles, burnout and CVD.
Key Words: burnout, cardiovascular diseases, leadership, nursing, stress.