Association between blood lipid levels and personality traits in young Korean women

Seung Ju Roh, Han Na Kim, Unjin Shim, Bo Hye Kim, Su Jin Kim, Hye Won Chung, Hyejin Lee, Yeon Ah Sung, Hyung Lae Kim

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9 Scopus citations


Abnormal lipid levels are important etiological factors associated with the development of atherosclerosis and with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Lipid levels are also influenced by lifestyle and behavioral factors, which suggests that personality traits might be related to abnormal lipid profiles. Studies on personality traits and lipid levels are relatively scarce in Korea. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between lipid levels and personality traits in young Korean women. A total of 1,701 young Korean women [mean age = 24.9±4.6 years (range 17- 39)] who volunteered for personality trait evaluation were recruited for this study. Lipid levels, including total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride, were measured in all subjects after an overnight fast, and a low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was calculated. The study population was divided into abnormal and normal lipid level groups according to the clinical criteria. Personality traits were measured using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory for the Five-Factor Model of personality. High neuroticism was associated with low HDL cholesterol levels. Low extraversion and openness were associated with high levels of triglyceride. At the facet level, the association between personality and lipid levels were generally consistent. Angry hostility, self-consciousness, vulnerability to stress, activity, and straightforwardness were associated with HDL cholesterol levels. Activity, positive emotion, aesthetics, actions, and deliberation were associated with triglyceride. When applying clinical criteria, conscientiousness was less likely to have abnormal total cholesterol levels. Our results showed that the women with the low HDL cholesterol levels are like to be more neurotic and the hyperglycemic women are prone to lower extraversion and openness in Korea. Understanding the associations between blood lipid levels and personality traits may have a beneficial effect for the managing of dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere108406
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2014

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© 2014 Roh et al.


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