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Health Psychol. 1998 Nov;17(6):520-9.

Coronary heart disease moderates the relationship of chronic stress with the metabolic syndrome.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Metabolic syndrome levels (MSLs) were compared in caregivers (CGs) of spouses with Alzheimer's disease who had diagnoses of coronary heart disease (CHD; n = 27) with non CGs with CHD diagnoses (n = 18), and CGs (n = 44) to non CGs (n = 52) free of CHD. MSLs were greater for CGs than non CGs, but only in persons with CHD (CHD, B for CG status = -.41; non CHD, B = .12; p < .05) at study entry (Time 1 = T1) and CHD, B = -.32; non CHD, B = .14; p < .05) 15-18 months later (Time 2 = T2). In the CHD group, MSLs were associated with poorer health habits at T1 (r = .39, p < .01), uplifts (r = -.37, p < .01) at T2, and CG status (p < .05) at T1 and T2. Relationships of CG status and MSLs declined in the presence of poor health habits at T1 and uplifts at T2. Poorer health habits and fewer uplifts may be associated with elevated MSLs in CGs with CHD.

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