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Central adiposity and cortisol responses to waking in middle-aged men and women

Steptoe, A; Kunz-Ebrecht, SR; Brydon, L; Wardle, J; (2004) Central adiposity and cortisol responses to waking in middle-aged men and women. INT J OBESITY , 28 (9) 1168 - 1173. 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802715.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Central obesity is associated with disturbances of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis function. We investigated whether central adiposity indexed by waist/hip ratio is related to cortisol responses to waking and other measures of salivary cortisol over the working day.PARTICIPANTS: In total, 89 men and 83 women aged 47-59 y recruited from the British civil service. All were members of the Whitehall II epidemiological cohort.METHODS: Saliva samples were collected on waking, 30 min later, and then at 2-h intervals from 0800-0830 to 2200-2230. A strict procedure for excluding individuals who did not adhere to the sampling schedule was applied.RESULTS: Waist/hip ratio in men was positively correlated with the cortisol response to waking (30 min-waking value) after adjusting for age, socioeconomic position, smoking status, alcohol consumption, time of waking, and cortisol level on waking (r = 0.29, P = 0.009). The cortisol response to waking was negatively related to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (r = -0.25) and positively with total/HDL cholesterol ratio (r = 0.25). Associations between the decline in cortisol over the day and waist/hip ratio, HDL cholesterol and total/HDL cholesterol ratios were also significant. No associations were significant in women, and body mass index was unrelated to cortisol.CONCLUSIONS: The cortisol response to waking is a dynamic indicator of HPA function that has previously been related to chronic psychological stress. These results confirm a recent Swedish study, and indicate that cortisol responses to waking may be indicative of neuroendocrine disturbance in central obesity.

Type: Article
Title: Central adiposity and cortisol responses to waking in middle-aged men and women
DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802715
Keywords: central adiposity, cortisol, waking response, sex differences, stress, BODY-FAT DISTRIBUTION, STRESS-INDUCED CORTISOL, PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS, LOW-BIRTH-WEIGHT, SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS, SALIVARY CORTISOL, ABDOMINAL OBESITY, INSULIN-RESISTANCE, METABOLIC SYNDROME, DOSE-RESPONSE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478
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