Hostility and the metabolic syndrome in older males: The Normative Aging Study

Raymond Niaura, Sara M. Banks, Kenneth D. Ward, Catherine M. Stoney, Avron Spiro, Carolyn M. Aldwin, Lewis Landsberg, Scott T. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Several studies have shown that hostility, as measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-derived Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (Ho), is positively associated with several cardiovascular risk factors, possibly accounting for the relationship between Ho scores and cardiovascular mortality. This study was undertaken to examine associations between hostility and cardiovascular risk factors representing the metabolic syndrome in 1081 older men who participated in the Normative Aging Study. Methods: Subjects included men who completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory in 1986 and who participated in a subsequent laboratory examination within 1 to 4 years. Total and subscale Ho scores were computed, and associations with anthropometric data, cigarette smoking, dietary information, serum lipids, blood pressure, and fasting glucose and insulin levels were examined. Results: The total Ho score was positively associated with waist/hip ratio, body mass index, total caloric intake, fasting insulin level, and serum triglycerides. The Ho score was inversely related to education and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration. Path analysis also suggested that the effects of hostility on insulin, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were mediated by its effects on body mass index and waist/hip ratio, which, in turn, exerted their effects on lipids and blood pressure through insulin. Conclusions: The results are consistent with those of prior research and also suggest that, in older men, hostility may be associated with a pattern of obesity, central adiposity, and insulin resistance, which can exert effects on blood pressure and serum lipids. Furthermore, effects of hostility on the metabolic syndrome appear to be mediated by body mass index and waist/hip ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Hostility
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Men
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Hostility and the metabolic syndrome in older males: The Normative Aging Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this