Relationship between Hostility-Irritability and Measures of Glucose Metabolism




Dunn, Amy
Franks, Susan
Lee, Michelle


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Purpose Hostility as a personality trait has been implicated as having a potential role in diabetes through its relationship to glucose metabolism. Research to date has consistently found a relationship primarily for women between hostility characterized by cynicism and mistrust with fasting glucose. Whether this connection extends to other aspects of glucose metabolism, or to other subtypes of hostility has not been determined. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of hostility characterized by irritability on broader measures of glucose regulation. It was hypothesized that higher levels of hostility-irritability would be associated with higher fasting glucose (FG), fasting insulin (FI) and homeostatic model assessment index (HOMA-IR). Method A secondary data analysis was conducted on data from a 1-year prospective study in a community bariatric surgical setting. Data used for the present analysis was from the pre-surgical assessment of 71 bariatric surgery candidates (OB) and 30 age- and gender-matched normal weight controls. Mean age was 44.6 years. Mean BMI was 43 kg/m2. Irritability was measured through self-report using the Buss Hostility Inventory. FG, FI, and postprandial glucose (PG) and insulin (PI) were analyzed at a commercial laboratory. Fasting HOMA-IR score was derived according to standard calculation. FG, FI, PG, PI, and HOMA-IR were divided into high and low categories based on a median split. Logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the ability of Irritability and gender to predict FG, FI, PG, PI, and HOMA-IR. Pearson correlation was used to explore relationships among variable, including individual Irritability scale items. Results Results of logistic regression models were non-significant for all indicators of glucose regulation. There were several significant correlations among individual items of the Irritability scale with FI, PI, and HOMA-IR. Conclusion Irritability as a subtype of the broader personality trait of hostility was not associated with measures of glucose regulation examined in this study. However, several individual items of the scale were significantly correlated with insulin, suggesting that specific aspects of hostility may be more disruptive to glucose regulation than others and should be further explored.