Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 59–63

The relation of hostility to lipids and lipoproteins in women: Evidence for the role of antagonistic hostility


  • Edward C. Suarez
    • Duke University Medical Center
  • Michael P. Bates
    • Duke University Medical Center
  • Tina L. Harralson
    • Duke University Medical Center

DOI: 10.1007/BF02884449

Cite this article as:
Suarez, E.C., Bates, M.P. & Harralson, T.L. ann. behav. med. (1998) 20: 59. doi:10.1007/BF02884449


We examined the relation of antagonistic, neurotic, and cynical hostility to lipids and lipoproteins in 77 healthy women (aged 18–26) selected for having high (>17) or low (<12) scores on the Cook-Medley Hostility (Ho) scale. Fasting lipids were determined during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle for oral contraceptive (OC) non-users (N=41), and during pills 15–21 for OC users (N=36). Factor scores for antagonistic and neurotic hostility were derived from a principal component of the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, Spielberger's Anger Expression, and the NEO-Personality Inventory. High Ho scores were significantly associated with higher cholesterol. Antagonistic hostility significantly predicted cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and the ratio of cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol, with higher antagonistic hostility scores associated with higher levels. Neurotic hostility did not predict lipids. Results suggest a potential pathophysiological mechanism that may contribute to the association between hostility and coronary heart disease. Moreover, a measure of antagonistic hostility, relative to cynical and neurotic hostility, was the best predictor of lipid levels.

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 1998