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Blood Lipids and Lipoproteins in Married and Formerly Married Women

Kushnir, Talma PhD; Kristal-Boneh, Estela PhD

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As part of the Cardiovascular Occupational Risk Factors Determination in Israel (CORDIS) study, the association between marriage termination (divorce/separation or widowhood) and blood lipids and lipoproteins was examined in a sample of 351 healthy women employed in industry.Eighty-seven former spouses were each matched with three married women (N = 264) for age, number of children, smoking status, and type of job (blue/white collar). After controlling for age, number of cigarettes per day, leisure sport participation, and daily coffee consumption, former spouses in the younger women group (younger than 45 years) had significantly higher total cholesterol, total cholesterol ratio, and LDL levels than married women. Among older women (greater than or equal to 45 years), there were no significant differences. Significantly more younger former spouses had abnormally high cholesterol and LDL levels. In both age groups, former spouses smoked more cigarettes daily. These differences between the marital status groups may be explained by stress effects and changes in primary prevention practices. If replicated, such findings would delineate a population in need of intervention to reduce disease risk.

From the Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Institute at Loewenstein Hospital, Raanana, Israel (T.K., E.K.-B.) and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel (T.K.).

Address reprint requests to: Dr. T. Kushnir, Behavioral Medicine Unit, Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Institute, PO Box 3, Raanana, Israel 43100.

Received for publication June 15, 1993; revision received June 2, 1994.

Copyright © 1995 by American Psychosomatic Society
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