Relationship among low cholesterol levels, depressive symptoms, aggression, hostility, and cynicism
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Treatment guidelines for lipids have become increasingly more aggressive. However, naturally low or therapeutically reduced cholesterol levels may be associated with adverse psychological health symptoms, including depression, aggression, and hostility. OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships between low total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and measures of psychosocial status among middle-aged adults. METHODS: A total of 1995 subjects enrolled in the Heart Strategies Concentrating on Risk Evaluation study with data on TC, LDL cholesterol, and self-reported ratings of psychological health were evaluated. To quantify ratings of depression, aggression, cynicism, and hostility, psychological measures included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and Cook-Medley Hostility Inventory. RESULTS: Of 1995 participants, 25.1% were taking a lipid-lowering agent at baseline. Mean CES-D scores were similar between participants with low (<150 mg/dL) versus greater (≥150 mg/dL) TC and low (<100 mg/dL) versus higher (≥100 mg/dL) LDL cholesterol. However, among 22 participants with LDL cholesterol <70 mg/dL, the prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptomatology (CES-D score ≥16) was 31.8% compared with 12.1% in the remaining cohort (P = .005). In multivariable analysis, low LDL cholesterol (<100 mg/dL) was associated with cynicism (partial r = -0.14, P = .02) and hostility (partial r = -0.18, P = .004), but only in the subgroup of white subjects currently taking lipid-lowering medications. Low LDL cholesterol (versus non-low) was associated with greater aggression scores but only among participants currently taking psychiatric medications (3.4 ± 1.7 vs 2.8 ± 1.5, P = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate mixed evidence for independent relationships between low total and LDL cholesterol levels and impaired psychological health.
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- "For example, lower cholesterol levels have been found to significantly predict impulsivity (New et al., 1999; Ormiston et al., 2003; Pozzi et al., 2003), greater risk for internalizing problems including conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder (Boston et al., 1996; Kaplan et al., 1997; Sutin et al., 2010), and depression (Ormiston et al., 2003; Steegmans et al., 2000; Tedders et al., 2011). However, the observed association between lower cholesterol levels and greater prevalence of depressive symptoms remains far from conclusive, with additional studies finding no significant association (Apter et al., 1999; Freedman et al., 1995; Pozzi et al., 2003; Repo-Tiihonen et al., 2002; Sahebzamani et al., 2013). "
ABSTRACT: Background Low cholesterol levels have been found to be associated with a wide range of behavioral problems, including violent and criminal behavior, and a wide range of psychological problems including impulsivity, depression, and other internalizing problems. The casual mechanisms underlying these associations remain largely unknown, but genetic factors may play a role in the etiology of such associations as previous research has found significant genetic influence on cholesterol levels and various deleterious behavioral and psychological outcomes. The current study addressed this existing gap in the literature by performing a genetically sensitive test of the association between cholesterol levels and various outcomes including levels of self-control, depressive symptoms, anger expression, and neuroticism. Methods DeFries–Fulker (DF) analysis was used to analyze data from 388 twin pairs nested within the Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS). Results The results of the genetically informed models revealed that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels were negatively and significantly associated with depressive symptoms, had a marginally significant effect on neuroticism, and a nonsignificant effect on both anger expression and self-control. Limitations The findings may not extrapolate to the larger population of American adults since the subsample of twins with cholesterol information may not be nationally representative. Conclusions Genetic influences play a significant role in the association between cholesterol levels and various deleterious outcomes and failing to control for these influences may result in model misspecification and may increase the probability of detecting a significant association when one does not actually exist.
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ABSTRACT: Low cholesterol levels have been found to be associated with a wide range of behavioral problems, including violent and criminal behavior, and a wide range of psychological problems including impulsivity, depression, and other internalizing problems. The casual mechanisms underlying these associations remain largely unknown, but genetic factors may play a role in the etiology of such associations as previous research has found significant genetic influence on cholesterol levels and various deleterious behavioral and psychological outcomes. The current study addressed this existing gap in the literature by performing a genetically sensitive test of the association between cholesterol levels and various outcomes including levels of self-control, depressive symptoms, anger expression, and neuroticism.Journal of Affective Disorders 08/2014; 164C:139-147. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.04.015 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Serum lipids have been associated with depression in the adult population; however, this association during pregnancy remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between serum lipids and depressive symptom scores during pregnancy. A prospective cohort of 238 pregnant women was followed at the 5th-13th, 20th-26th and 30th-36th weeks of gestation. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Serum concentrations (mg/dL) of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL-c; HDL-c) were the main exposures. Marital status (married/single), physical activity (active or very active/low or very low active), unplanned pregnancy (no/yes), pre-pregnancy BMI (<25/≥25 kg/m(2)), generalized anxiety disorder (no/yes) and current suicidal ideation (no/yes) were considered as potential confounders. Analyses were performed using linear mixed-effects models. The results showed that the EPDS mean score (95%CI) decreased with time during pregnancy trimesters [1st: 8.89 (95%CI = 8.28-9.51), 2nd: 7.32 (95%CI = 6.67-7.97) and 3rd: 7.08 (95%CI = 6.41-7.74)]. Suicidal ideation frequency at baseline was 18%. HDL-c concentrations were inversely associated with changes in EPDS score (β = -0.080, 95%CI = -0.157 to -0.002), while low or very low active women (β = 1.288, 95%CI = 0.630-1.946), with single marital status (β = 1.348, 95%CI = 0.163-2.534), unplanned pregnancy (β = 1.922, 95%CI = 0.714-3.131), generalized anxiety disorder (β = 2.139, 95%CI = 0.410-3.868) and current suicidal ideation (β = 1.927, 95%CI = 0.596-3.258) tended to have higher EPDS scores. No relationship was observed between other lipids and EPDS scores. HDL-c concentration was inversely associated with changes in depressive symptom scores during pregnancy after adjusting for socio-economic, demographic, behavioral, nutritional, biochemical and mental health disorders.Journal of Psychiatric Research 08/2014; 58. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.07.030 · 3.96 Impact Factor