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Cardiac Profile and Disruptive Behavior in Boys at Risk for Delinquency

Pine, Daniel S. MD; Wasserman, Gail PhD; Coplan, Jeremy MD; Staghezza-Jaramillo, Beatriz MPH; Davies, Mark MPH; Fried, Jane E. MD; Greenhill, Laurence MD; Shaffer, David MB, MRCP, MRCPPsych

Original Article

The objective of this study was to examine associations in youth between antisocial behavior and cardiovascular profile.Younger brothers of adjudicated delinquents (N = 120) received a standardized psychiatric assessment and an assessment of three factors often studied in behavioral cardiology research: family history of hypertension, resting blood pressure, and obesity. As a group, relative to population norms, these youth exhibited signs of obesity and elevated blood pressure, with 30% of the sample appearing clinically obese and 24% having a blood pressure above the 90th percentile for national norms in their age cohort. Within the sample, score on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Delinquency scale correlated with blood pressure (r =.29-.34) and an index of obesity, weight/height3 (r =.20). Further, scores on the CBCL Delinquency, Aggression, and Externalizing scales were elevated in boys with a positive family history of hypertension. Among boys at risk for delinquency, disruptive psychopathology relates to factors often studied in behavioral cardiology research. Relationships between risk factors for ischemic cardiovascular disease and hostile behavior may be manifested with measures of disruptive psychopathology.

From the Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (D.S.P., G.W., J.E.F., D.S., L.G., B.S.-J., M.D.) and the Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (J.C.), New York, New York.

Address reprint requests to: Daniel S. Pine, MD, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 722 W. 168th St., Unit 78, New York, NY 10032.

Received for publication May 16, 1995; revision received October 5, 1995.

Copyright © 1996 by American Psychosomatic Society
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