Lipids in psychological research: The last decade

Raymond Niaura, Catherine M. Stoney, Peter N. Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review the recent literature examining lipid changes during stressful experiences, and the psychological and constitutional differences that influence lipid levels at rest and that may modulate lipid response to stress. Mild forms of chronic or episodic stress are apparently not associated with alterations in lipids and lipoproteins, but severe forms of real or perceived stress do appear to alter lipid levels. Acute laboratory stress is frequently associated with short-term alterations in lipids and lipoproteins, but the significance of these changes is unclear. Several individual characteristics, such as heightened neuroendocrine or autonomic reactivity to Stressors, Type A component behavior, and other aspects of personality, appear to be associated with an atherogenic lipid profile. Stress may influence lipid concentrations and metabolism through a variety of physiological and behavioral mechanisms, but none have been clearly elucidated. Future research should concentrate on understanding these mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-43
Number of pages43
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1992


  • Stress
  • Type A
  • cholesterol
  • emotional arousal
  • lipids
  • lipoproteins
  • psychophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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