Gerdi Weidner, PhD; Sonja L. Connor, MS; Jack F. Hollis, PhD; William E. Connor, MD
▪ Objective: To describe changes in negative emotions among participants of a cholesterol-lowering study.
▪ Design: Cohort study. Quantitative evaluation of changes in negative emotions in relation to diet and plasma cholesterol levels before and after a 5-year dietary intervention program aimed at reducing plasma cholesterol levels.
▪ Setting: Community-dwelling families of the Family Heart Study, Portland, Oregon.
▪ Participants: One hundred forty-nine men and 156 women from 233 families (mean age, 37.7 years).
▪ Measurements: Changes in negative emotions including depression and aggressive hostility as measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (SCL-90).
▪ Results: Improvement in overall emotional state was noted for the entire sample. Those who consumed a low-fat, high complex-carbohydrate diet at the end of the study showed significantly greater improvements in depression (P = 0.044; difference in improvement, 2.9 points) and aggressive hostility (P = 0.035; difference in improvement, 3.3 points) as well as a reduction in their plasma cholesterol levels (P = 0.024; difference in improvement, 2.7%) compared with those who ate a high-fat "American diet."
▪ Conclusions: Participation in a cholesterol-lowering program may not be associated with a worsening in emotional state. To the contrary, improvements in diet appear to be associated with reductions in depression and aggressive hostility as well as with lowered plasma cholesterol levels.
Weidner G, Connor SL, Hollis JF, et al. Improvements in Hostility and Depression in Relation to Dietary Change and Cholesterol Lowering: The Family Heart Study. Ann Intern Med. 1992;117:820–823. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-117-10-820
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(10):820-823.
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