The Metabolic Syndrome Mediates the Relationship between Cynical Hostility and Cardiovascular Disease

Tracy L. Nelson, Raymond F. Palmer, Nancy L. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The objective of this work was to test the clustering of classic Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, known as the metabolic syndrome (e.g., increased blood pressure, insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia combined with low levels of high-density lipoprotein, and abdominal fatness), as a mediator of the association between cynicism and CVD. Data were used from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) (n = 1944 individuals, average age 62 years, 58% female). The cross-sectional association of cynicism with CVD was significant (standardized β = 0. 08, p < .01). In a longitudinal model, cynicism measured in 1984 was associated with CVD measured in 1987 (standardized β = 0.06, p < .01). In a third model, a latent construct "metabolic syndrome" significantly partially mediated this relationship. Cynicism (measured 1984) predicted the metabolic syndrome (measured 1986-1988) (standardized β = 0.20, p < .05) and the metabolic syndrome predicted CVD (measured 1987) (standardized β = 0.18, p < .001); cynicism no longer significantly predicted CVD. Results were adjusted for baseline CVD, smoking, and age. These findings suggest that a clustering of CVD risk factors partially mediate the association between cynicism and CVD in an older population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-177
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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