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APA: Poor Stress Management Affects Men's HDL Cholesterol

Lower HDL levels seen in older men who resort to hostility, self-blame and self-isolation

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Older men who use negative strategies to cope with stress -- such as interpersonal hostility -- are more likely to have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol than those who use positive coping strategies, according to research presented this week at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco.

Loriena A. Yancura, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and colleagues surveyed 716 primarily white males (mean age 65) on how often they used 26 strategies to cope with stress and measured their lipid levels after an overnight fast.

The researchers found that high levels of hostility predicted high levels of stress and the use of coping strategies such as interpersonal hostility, self-blame and self-isolation. They also found that hostile men tended to have lower levels of HDL cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides, and that those who used strategies such as self-blame, threat-minimization and self-isolation also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol. None of the coping strategies, however, had an effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

"The results of our study suggest that coping processes also might influence lipid fractions differently and may play a protective role through their influence on HDL," the authors write.

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