|Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999 Page 7|
The controversial theory that low cholesterol is a risk factor for violence (see related article, Crime Times, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 2, Pages 3&7) has gained support from a recent study of psychiatric inpatients.
R. M. Mufti and colleagues compared the cholesterol levels of two groups of patients: one group with a history of requiring restraints or seclusion to handle violent outbursts, and another group that had not needed such interventions. The researchers say, "A strong association was found between low cholesterol levels and violent behavior, an association that was not due to age, race, sex, or diagnosis." The association remained significant when Mufti et al. factored in subjects' physical health, use of ch holesterol-lowering drugs, alcohol use, and diets.
Mufti et al. say that "dichotomizing cholesterol levels at 180 mg/dL yielded high sensitivity (90 percent) for predicting violent behavior," but caution that the results were not specific enough for low cholesterol to be used as a screening tool for predi icting violence.
Low cholesterol and violence," R. M. Mufti, R. Balon, and C. L. Arfken, Psychiatric Services, Vol. 49, No. 2, February 1998, pp. 221-224. Address: R. M. Mufti, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48207.