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June 27, 1994

Cholesterol and Violent Behavior

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry (Dr Santiago), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson. Dr Dalen is Vice Provost for Health Sciences and Dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(12):1317-1321. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420120025003

Despite significant increases in the incidence of myocardial infarction, reduction of total mortality as a result of cholesterol-lowering programs has not been demonstrated. This puzzling outcome has led to several hypotheses linking cholesterol levels and mortality due to accidents, suicide, and homicide. We review the proposed explanations for increased mortality due to violent deaths. We discuss the available evidence and conclude that while there are some intriguing findings based on the well-established relationship between violent behavior and serotonin activity, the necessary link between cholesterol, serotonin, and violence has not been demonstrated. The complexity of the observed violent behaviors and their multiple determinants defies a simple explanation at the present time.

(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:1317-1321)

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