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Cardiovascular Disease and Hair Cortisol: a Novel Biomarker of Chronic Stress

Iob, E; Steptoe, A; (2019) Cardiovascular Disease and Hair Cortisol: a Novel Biomarker of Chronic Stress. Current Cardiology Reports (10) , Article 116. 10.1007/s11886-019-1208-7. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose of Review This review focuses on the concentration of cortisol in human hair as a biomarker of chronic stress in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We outline the cardiovascular consequences of cortisol excess and provide a comprehensive overview of recent studies investigating the relationship of hair cortisol with CVD. In addition, clinical implications and limitations of the evidence are discussed, together with directions for future research. Recent Findings Hair cortisol may be a reliable biomarker of chronic stress since it provides quantification of total cortisol secreted into hair over several weeks. A growing body of evidence suggests that elevated hair cortisol levels are associated with both the incidence of CVD and poorer recovery and treatment outcomes. Moreover, increased hair cortisol concentration has been linked with established cardiometabolic risk factors for CVD including high blood pressure, diabetes, and adiposity. Summary Hair cortisol is a promising biomarker of chronic cortisol excess which may contribute to both the pathogenesis and prognosis of CVD. However, the current evidence relies on small-scale cross-sectional studies. Further research adopting longitudinal designs across larger samples of CVD patients and healthy participants is required to inform the development of novel evidence-based interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Cardiovascular Disease and Hair Cortisol: a Novel Biomarker of Chronic Stress
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11886-019-1208-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-019-1208-7
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Chronic stress, Hair cortisol, Cardiovascular disease, Cardiometabolic markers
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081506
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