The longitudinal relationship between cortisol responses to mental stress and leukocyte telomere attrition
MetadataShow full item record
Context: Chronic psychological stress has been associated with shorter telomeres in some studies, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. One possibility is that the neuroendocrine responses associated with stress exposure are involved. Objective: To testing the hypothesis that greater cortisol responsivity to acute stressors predicts more rapid telomere attrition. Design: We measured salivary cortisol responses to two challenging behavioral tasks. Leukocyte telomere length was measured at the time of mental stress testing and 3 years later. Participants: We studied 411 initially healthy men and women aged 54-76 years. Main outcome measure: Leukocyte telomere length. Results: Cortisol responses to this protocol were small, we divided participants into cortisol responders (n = 156) and non-responders (n = 255) using a criterion (≥20%) previously shown to predict increases in cardiovascular disease risk. There was no significant association between cortisol responsivity and baseline telomere length, although cortisol responders tended to have somewhat shorter telomeres (β = -0.061, standard error 0.049). But cortisol responders had shorter telomeres and more rapid telomere attrition than non-responders on follow-up, after controlling statistically for age, gender, socioeconomic status, smoking, time of day of stress testing and baseline telomere length (β = - 0.10, standard error 0.046, p = 0.029). The association was maintained after additional control for cardiovascular risk factors (β = -0.11, p = 0.031). The difference between cortisol responders and nonresponders was equivalent to approximately 2 years in aging. Conclusions: These findings suggest that cortisol responsivity may mediate in part the relationship between psychological stress and cellular aging.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism;
Steptoe, A., Hamer, M., Lin, J., Blackburn, E. and Erusalimsky, J. (2017) 'The longitudinal relationship between cortisol responses to mental stress and leukocyte telomere attrition', Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 102(3), pp.962-969. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-3035
This article was published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism on 14 December 2016 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-3035
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Shorter telomeres with high telomerase activity are associated with raised allostatic load and impoverished psychosocial resources Zalli, Argita; Carvalho, Livia A.; Lin, Jue; Hamer, Mark; Erusalimsky, Jorge; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.; Steptoe, Andrew (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2014)Recent work has linked psychological stress with premature cellular aging as indexed by reduced leukocyte telomere length. The combination of shorter telomeres with high telomerase activity (TA) may be indicative of active ...
Aufegger, Lisa; Wasley, David (American Psychological Association, 2017-08-24)Auditioning can cause considerable apprehension for musicians, typically giving rise to a wide range of physical and mental stress responses irrespective of age, amount of practice and level of experience. However, studies ...
Turner, Holly (2018-05)Abstract Background: Chronic stress and its detrimental effects on human health, disease and predisposition of mental illness are being increasingly recognised worldwide. Currently, there is no evidence that explores ...