The relationship between 63 days of 24-h urinary free cortisol and hair cortisol levels in 10 healthy individuals

van Ockenburg, S. L., Schenk, H. M., van der Veen, A., van Rossum, E. F. C., Kema, I. P. & Rosmalen, J. G. M., Nov-2016, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 73, p. 142-147 6 p.

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  • The relationship between 63 days of 24-h urinary free cortisol

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Background: Interest in measuring cortisol in scalp hair is increasing because of its assumed ability to provide a historical timeline of previous systemic levels of cortisol. Yet, it remains uncertain how well hair cortisol represents the total systemic secretion of cortisol over time.

Methods: Ten healthy individuals collected 24-h urine samples for 63 consecutive days and provided a hair sample at the end of the study period. 24-h urinary creatinine levels in every urine sample were determined to assess completeness of the samples. Cortisol levels in 24-h urine samples and in hair were measured with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The correlations between urinary cortisol and hair cortisol were calculated using Kendall's tau.

Results: We found a nonsignificant moderate correlation between average urinary cortisol secretion and average hair cortisol concentration r(t) = 0.422, p = 0.089.

Conclusions: Hair cortisol concentration correlates low to moderately with 24-h urinary cortisol concentration over a period of 63 days. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2016


  • Hair, Urine, Humans, Cortisol, Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, Hair cortisol, LONG-TERM CORTISOL, MASS-SPECTROMETRY, STRESS, CREATININE, REACTIVITY, STABILITY, EXPOSURE, SALIVARY, SERUM, WATER

ID: 34557351