Researchers have suggested a linkbetween low cholesterol levels andaggressive behavior in children and teens.Using data from the Third National Healthand Nutrition Examination Survey, Dr. JianZhang and colleagues from the Universityof South Carolina explored the linkbetween cholesterol levels and the psychosocialdevelopment of noninstitutionalizedchildren and adolescents. They gatheredcholesterol data from 4852 childrenbetween the ages of 6 and 16 as well asinterviews with the mothers regardingtheir children's behavioral history.
Among children with various cholesterollevels, there were no differences inthe percentages of those who had seen amental health practitioner. Among non-African American children whose cholesterollevel was <145 mg/dL, however, thelikelihood that they had been suspendedor expelled from school was 3 times higherthan among those with cholesterolabove that level.
Dr. Zhang suggests that the reasonmay be "reverse causation": because theschool suspension causes stress and"serious negative psychiatric consequences,"the resulting posttraumaticstress disorder may lead to a decrease incholesterol concentration. The researchersconcluded that their results suggestthe need for further study.