, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 281-298

Anger expression and lipid concentrations

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We used 2 different strategies to examine the relation between anger expression and lipid concentrations in 116 middle-aged men. Using the common analytic method used in the literature, the group-crossing approach, we examined whether Anger-In, Anger-Out, and their interaction were related to lipids. Regression analyses revealed that Anger-In and Anger-Out were marginally related to total cholesterol. These associations disappeared after controlling for hostility, anger, and anxiety. Using a new intraindividual-difference approach, we determined individuals’ relative dominance of Anger-In and Anger-Out and examined linear and quadratic associations with lipids. Regression analyses revealed the quadratic was related to both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c), indicating that individuals who almost always express their anger or almost never express their anger had both elevated total cholesterol and LDL-c. The curvilinear association with total cholesterol persisted even after controlling for hostility, anger, and anxiety.

This study was supported in part by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants HL48363 and HL44847.
We acknowledge the expert lipid analyses provided by Linda Bausserman and her staff. We are also grateful for the valuable assistance of Lisa Kopel and Tracey Aiello, and we thank all of the participants of the Healthy Pilot Project.
Portions of these data were presented at the meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1994.