Positive and negative life changes and LDL cholesterol

J Biosoc Sci. 1999 Apr;31(2):269-77. doi: 10.1017/s0021932099002692.


Epidemiological studies have revealed that stressful changes in social environment increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality. In this study, the influence of major negative and positive life changes on serum cholesterol was examined in middle-aged men to determine a possible biochemical link between life changes and cardiovascular mortality. The results showed no influence of negative life changes on serum cholesterols. However, positive life changes significantly predicted a reduction in total and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels after adjustment for the baseline cardiovascular health status, baseline cholesterol level, diet, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and cardiorespiratory fitness. The odds ratio for lowering LDL cholesterol was 5.2 in the men reporting positive events compared with those reporting none. The findings suggest a predictive value of positive life changes for atherogenic lipid profile in middle-aged men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / psychology
  • Life Change Events*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*


  • Cholesterol, LDL