Publication

Determinants of salivary cortisol levels in 10-12 year old children; a population-based study of individual differences

Rosmalen, JGM., Oldehinkel, AJ., Ormel, J., de Winter, AF., Buitelaar, JK. & Verhulst, FC., Jun-2005, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 30, 5, p. 483-495 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis is a central component of the body's neuroendocrine response to stress. Its major end-product cortisol has profound effects on mood and behavior. Although it has often been suggested, it remains unknown whether differences in HPA-axis physiology are part of an individual's vulnerability to psychopathology, and constitute a causal factor in its development.

In order to study the contribution of HPA-axis physiology to the development of psychopathology, we measured HPA-axis physiology in a community-cohort of 1768 10-12 year-old children. The aims of the here presented study were twofold: (1) to obtain data on HPA-axis function in a large cohort of pre- and early-adolescent children, both in terms of total hormonal output and in terms of the dynamics of cortisol. secretion (by means of the cortisol awakening response); and (2) to study potential confounders of the cortisol-psychopathology relationship in this age group, such as season of sampling, age, gender, pubertal development, perinatal variables and BMI.

We found a wide interindividual variability in HPA-axis function. An increase in cortisol in the first 30 min after awakening was present in 70.7% of children, but the increase appears lower in children than in adults. In addition, this study suggests that season of sampling and gender may act as potential confounders in the cortisol-psychopathology relationship.

We will follow these children longitudinally for the development of psychopathology in the period from childhood into adulthood. This period covers adolescence, which is a critical time for the appearance and development of psychiatric disorders. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-495
Number of pages13
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume30
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2005

    Keywords

  • cortisol, awakening response, seasonal effects, children, puberty, gender, SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, ADRENOCORTICAL ACTIVITY, SECRETORY ACTIVITY, PUBERTAL CHANGES, AWAKENING TIME, RESPONSES, STRESS, HEALTH, SERUM, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

ID: 4310713