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Psychosomatics. 2003 Sep-Oct;44(5):412-4.

Behavioral implications of lowering cholesterol levels: a double-blind pilot study.

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  • 1Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA 95128, USA.


The treatment of hypercholesterolemia may be associated with greater noncardiac mortality. This current pilot study sought to determine which behaviors, if any, are associated with decreases in cholesterol level. Twelve subjects received one of two cholesterol-reducing drugs or placebo. Cholesterol and behavioral ratings were measured at baseline, 4, and 52 weeks with standardized scales. Cholesterol levels markedly declined with concomitant significant increases in impulsivity ratings at 4 weeks. At 52 weeks, the increase in impulsivity ratings was no longer apparent, but depression ratings showed a significant improvement. This pilot study, although limited in size, raises the possibility that cholesterol-lowering drugs are associated with mild, time-limited increases in impulsivity and with mild, time-delayed improvements in depression ratings.

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