Christensen, U., R. Lund, M.T. Damsgaard, B.E. Holstein, S. Ditlevsen, F. Diderichsen, P. Due, and L. Iversen. 2004. "Cynical Hostility, Socioeconomic Position, Health Behaviors, and Symptom Load: a Cross-Sectional Analysis in a Danish Population-Based Study." Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(4): 572-577.
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.