Cynical hostility, socioeconomic position, health behaviors, and symptom load: a cross-sectional analysis in a Danish population-based study.

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OBJECTIVE: To analyze the cross-sectional association between cynical hostility and high symptom load in a Danish population-based study. Furthermore, the aim was to investigate to what extent health risk behaviors mediated this association. METHODS: Data were based on a postal questionnaire in a Danish random sample of 3426 men and 3699 women aged 40 or 50 years. Cynical hostility was measured by the 8-item Cynical Distrust Scale. High symptom load was assessed by physiological and mental symptoms experienced within the last 4 weeks. Confounders were age and socioeconomic position, while potential mediators were alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, and BMI. RESULTS: Higher cynical hostility was associated with self-reported symptom load. Health behaviors did not seem to mediate this effect. Socioeconomic position was a strong confounder for the effect on both health and health behaviors. After adjustment the effects of hostility on health remained with odds ratios of 2.1 (1.7-2.6) for women and 2.3 (1.8-2.8) for men.CONCLUSION: After adjustment for socioeconomic position, cynical hostility has an effect on self-reported high symptom load, and this effect is not mediated by health behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Adult; Alcohol Drinking; Body Mass Index; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Health Behavior; Health Status; Health Surveys; Hostility; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Odds Ratio; Personality Inventory; Postal Service; Questionnaires; Risk-Taking; Sampling Studies; Smoking; Social Class

ID: 5397783