Impulsivity and midlife cardiometabolic risk: The role of maladaptive health behaviors.

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OBJECTIVE:The present study evaluated distinct facets of impulsivity related to cardiometabolic risk (CMR) to identify specific behavioral mechanisms driving these relationships. METHOD:Community adults (N = 1,295) between 30 and 54 years old (53% female, 84% White) completed a battery of impulsivity measures, reported their engagement in health behaviors over the past week (i.e., cigarette smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and dietary intake), and were assessed for CMR factors (i.e., blood pressure, insulin resistance, adiposity, and blood lipids). Structural equation modeling was used to estimate previously established hierarchical models of distinct facets of impulsivity and CMR. Indirect effects through the observed health behaviors were examined for each association between the latent impulsivity factors identified and the latent CMR factor. RESULTS:Neuroticism/negative emotionality was the only latent impulsivity factor directly related to heightened CMR (β = 0.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.01, 0.16], p = .020). Extraversion/positive emotionality indirectly related to lower CMR through greater physical activity (β = -0.04, 95% CI [-0.06, -0.02], p < .001), and measures of inhibition (β = 0.02, 95% CI [0.001, 0.04], p = .045) and delay discounting (β = 0.08, 95% CI [0.001, 0.15], p = .049) indirectly related to CMR through saturated fat intake. CONCLUSIONS:These findings indicate that distinct facets of impulsivity differentially relate to CMR through varied behavioral pathways and identify physical activity and saturated fat intake as being particularly important health behaviors to target when tailoring treatment approaches to the unique behavioral characteristics of individuals high on certain facets of impulsivity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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  • Journal Article


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