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Abstract: Atherosclerosis induced by moderate hyperlipoproteinemia in group-housed cynomolgus monkeys differs significantly between animals of dominant and subordinate social status. The nature of this association also varies by sex, and in males, by stability of the social environment. Dominant males develop more extensive atherosclerosis than subordinates when housed in unstable, but not stable, social groups; in contrast, subordinate females develop greater atherosclerosis than dominants, and do so irrespective of the conditions of social housing. Experimental investigations reveal that the first of these associations (males) is mediated by concomitant sympathoadrenal activation and the second (females) by ovarian impairment associated with the stress of social subordination. We believe our findings offer clues to the neuroendocrine mediation of behavioral influences on coronary artery disease in humans. This is particularly true where these influences reflect asymmetries in the power or status relationships among individuals within similar social environments, or when dimensions of temperament or disposition give rise to such relationships. We propose that these data also may be informative regarding the pathophysiological sequelae of social stratification (in which disease incidence varies by class membership within populations), but only where social environments engendered by class inequalities exacerbate status-dependent behavioral differences among individuals within communities of associates.