Associations of hair cortisol concentrations with cardio-metabolic risk factors in childhood.
Biological stress is related to cardiovascular disease in adults. The associations of stress with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases may originate in childhood.To examine the associations of hair cortisol concentrations at 6 years with cardio-metabolic risk factors at 6 and 10 years.Cortisol concentrations were measured in hair of 6-year-old children (n = 2,598) participating in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.Blood pressure, heart rate, concentrations of insulin, glucose, lipids and C-reactive protein in blood at 6 and 10 years.Higher hair cortisol concentrations at 6 years were associated with higher systolic blood pressure at 10 years (difference 0.17 standard deviation score (SDS) (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.03, 0.31)). The association attenuated into non-significance after adjustment for childhood BMI at 6 years. Higher hair cortisol concentrations at 6 years were associated with an increase in total and LDL cholesterol between 6 and 10 years but not with those measurements at 6 or 10 years. Hair cortisol concentrations were not associated with other cardio-metabolic risk factors at 6 or 10 years.Hair cortisol concentrations were not independent of BMI associated with cardio-metabolic risk factors at 6 or 10 years. The associations of biological stress with cardio-metabolic risk factors may develop at later ages.
Authors: Florianne O L Vehmeijer, Susana Santos, Yolanda B de Rijke, Erica L T van den Akker, Janine F Felix, Elisabeth F C van Rossum, Vincent W V Jaddoe