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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Dec;43(12):1345-9.

High density lipoprotein cholesterol is associated with serum cortisol in older people.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1051, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the associations between serum cortisol and HDL cholesterol, other lipoprotein lipids and cardiovascular risk factors, carotid atherosclerosis, and clinical heart disease in older people.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional, observational, ancillary study of the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).

POPULATION:

A total of 245 community-dwelling people, 65 to 89 years old, were recruited consecutively for a 2-month period from the CHS cohort in Forsyth County, North Carolina.

METHODS:

Cortisol was measured by radioimmunoassay in serum collected between 7:00 and 10:00 AM after an overnight fast. Cortisol levels were correlated with lipoprotein lipids, insulin, glucose, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, prevalent coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and carotid atherosclerosis by B-mode ultrasound.

RESULTS:

Serum cortisol was correlated negatively (r = -.24) with body mass index and waist-hip ratio (r = -.16) but was not related significantly to fasting insulin or glucose. Cortisol was not associated significantly with triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol but showed a positive correlation (r = .21) with high density lipoprotein cholesterol. The relationship between cortisol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol persisted after adjustment for gender, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, cigarette and alcohol use, triglyceride level, and diabetes. There was a trend toward a negative correlation between cortisol and measures of carotid atherosclerosis, but no significant relationship was indicated between cortisol and prevalent coronary heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes.

CONCLUSION:

Endogenous glucocorticoid levels correlated with HDL cholesterol levels and may play a role in the physiologic regulation of high density lipoprotein levels in older people.

PMID:
7490384
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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