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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Link Between High Cholesterol and Anxiety

04/14/2005

Question:

If I can rule out diet and genetics, might my high cholesterol be caused by my lack of being able to control anxiety and stress?

Answer:

To my knowledge, there is no causation between anxiety and stress and high cholesterol.  Most high cholesterol is due to lifestyle (diet high in fats and cholesterol, lack of exercise and obesity) and to "genetics" -- people make cholesterol in their body, and how much they make is, in some degree, determined by genetics.

People who have healthy lifestyle (eating healthy, exercising regularly, sufficient sleep, strong social support systems) may have both lower cholesterol and lower stress, but the two are not directly related.  They both occur because of the healthy lifestyle.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati