Diurnal cortisol and mental well-being in middle and older age: evidence from four cohort studies.

TitleDiurnal cortisol and mental well-being in middle and older age: evidence from four cohort studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsStafford M, Ben-Shlomo Y, Cooper C, Gale C, Gardner MP, Geoffroy M-C, Power C, Kuh D, Cooper R
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue10
Paginatione016085
Date Published2017 Oct 12
ISSN2044-6055
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We conducted an individual participant meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that cortisol patterns indicative of dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning would be prospectively associated with poorer well-being at follow-up.SETTING: Four large UK-based cohort studies.PARTICIPANTS: Those providing valid salivary or serum cortisol samples (n=7515 for morning cortisol; n=1612 for cortisol awakening response) at baseline (age 44-82) and well-being data on the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale at follow-up (0-8 years) were included.RESULTS: Well-being was not associated with morning cortisol, diurnal slope or awakening response though a borderline association with evening cortisol was found. Adjusting for sex and follow-up time, each 1 SD increase in evening cortisol was associated with a -0.47 (95% CI -1.00 to 0.05) point lower well-being. This was attenuated by adjustment for body mass index, smoking and socioeconomic position. Between-study heterogeneity was low.CONCLUSIONS: This study does not support the hypothesis that diurnal cortisol is prospectively associated with well-being up to 8 years later. However, replication in prospective studies with cortisol samples over multiple days is required.

DOI10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016085
Alternate JournalBMJ Open
PubMed ID29025828
PubMed Central IDPMC5652457
Grant ListMC_U147585819 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UP_A620_1014 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UU_12011/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom