Attributional styles and stress-related atherogenic plasma lipid reactivity in essential hypertension.

Kuebler, Ulrike; Trachsel, Manuel; von Känel, Roland; Abbruzzese, Elvira; Ehlert, Ulrike; Wirtz, Petra H (2014). Attributional styles and stress-related atherogenic plasma lipid reactivity in essential hypertension. Journal of psychosomatic research, 77(1), pp. 51-56. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.04.004

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Hypertension and an atherogenic lipid profile are known risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). Hypertensives show greater changes in atherogenic plasma lipids to acute stress than normotensives. In this study, we investigated whether attribution of failure is associated with lipid stress reactivity in hypertensive compared with normotensive men.


18 normotensive and 17 hypertensive men (mean±SEM; 45±2.2 years) underwent an acute standardized psychosocial stress task that can be viewed as a situation of experimentally induced failure. We assessed external-stable (ES), external-variable (EV), internal-stable (IS), and internal-variable (IV) attribution of failure and psychological control variables (i.e. extent of depression and neuroticism). Moreover, total cholesterol (TC), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and norepinephrine were measured immediately before and several times after stress.


ES moderated TC- and LDL-C-stress reactivity in hypertensives as compared to normotensives (interaction mean arterial pressure [MAP]-by-ES for TC: F=3.71, p=.015; for LDL-C: F=3.61, p=.016). TC and LDL-C levels were highest in hypertensives with low ES immediately after stress (p≤.039). In contrast, hypertensives with high ES did not differ from normotensives in TC and LDL-C immediately after stress (p's>.28). Controlling for norepinephrine, depression, and neuroticism in addition to age and BMI did not significantly change results. There were no significant associations between lipid baseline levels or aggregated lipid secretion and IS, IV, or EV (p's>.23).


Our data suggest that ES may independently protect from elevated lipid stress reactivity in hypertensive individuals. ES thus might be a protective factor against CHD in hypertension.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology > Centre of Competence for Psychosomatic Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Annette Barbara Kocher

Date Deposited:

26 Mar 2015 11:20

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:45

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Attributional styles, Cholesterol, Hypertension, Low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, Plasma lipids, Psychosocial stress, Trier Social Stress Test




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