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Endocr Res. 2005;31(3):213-8.

Cortisol levels during an oral glucose tolerance test in lean and obese women.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Akdeniz University, School of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey.


Because of the similarities between Cushing's syndrome and insulin resistance syndrome,cortisol metabolism in obesity has been investigated in numerous studies. Our study investigates serum glucose, insulin, and cortisol response to oral glucose stimulation in a group of obese and lean normotensive, normolipidemic, and glucose-tolerant premenopausal women. Twenty-one obese [body mass index (BMI) 37Z +/- 6.3 kg/m2) and 14 lean (BMI: 21.5 +/- 1.0 kg/m2) age-matched healthy premenopausal women were included in the study. Serum glucose, insulin, and cortisol levels were measured at 30-minute intervals during 120 minutes of oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT). Mean serum glucose and insulin levels were significantly higher in the obese group compared with lean subjects, and cortisol levels were similar during OGTT. There was not a significant difference for cortisol area under the curve (AUC) during OGTT between the two groups. No correlation between cortisol AUC, insulin AUC, and glucose AUC was noted for both groups. During OGTT, a decrease in cortisol levels was observed in both groups. The decrement occurred at 30 minutes of the OGTT in the obese group and at 60 minutes of the OGTT in the lean group. At 90 and 120 minutes of the OGTT, serum cortisol levels were similar to basal levels in both the obese group and the lean group. Previous studies reported altered hypotalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, altered levels of urinary cortisol excretion, and increased metabolic clearance of cortisol in obesity. In our study in obese women, the only detected difference from lean subjects was a quicker suppression and recovery in serum cortisol levels after glucose administration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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