The Association Between Cortisol Response to Mental Stress and High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T Plasma Concentration in Healthy Adults

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Lazzarino, A, Hamer, M, Gaze, D, Collinson, P and Steptoe, A. 2013. The Association Between Cortisol Response to Mental Stress and High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T Plasma Concentration in Healthy Adults. [Online]. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Available from: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.05.070

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The objective of this study was to examine the association between cortisol response to mental stress and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) in healthy older individuals without history of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mental stress is a recognized risk factor for CVD, although the mechanisms remain unclear. Cortisol, a key stress hormone, is associated with coronary atherosclerosis and may accentuate structural and functional cardiac disease. This cross-sectional study involved 508 disease-free men and women aged 53 to 76 years drawn from the Whitehall II epidemiological cohort. We evaluated salivary cortisol response to standardized mental stress tests (exposure) and hs-cTnT plasma concentration using a high-sensitivity assay (outcome). We measured coronary calcification using electron-beam dual-source computed tomography and Agatston scores. After adjustment for demographic and clinical variables associated with CVD as well as for inflammatory factors, we found a robust association between cortisol response and detectable hs-cTnT (odds ratio [OR]: 3.98; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.60 to 9.92; p = 0.003). The association remained when we restricted the analysis to participants without coronary calcification (n = 222; OR: 4.77; 95% CI: 1.22 to 18.72; p = 0.025) or when we further adjusted for coronary calcification in participants with positive Agatston scores (n = 286; OR: 7.39; 95% CI: 2.22 to 26.24; p = 0.001). We found that heightened cortisol response to mental stress was associated with detectable plasma levels of cTnT using high-sensitivity assays in healthy participants, independently of coronary atherosclerosis. Further research is needed to understand the role of psychosocial stress in the pathophysiology of cardiac cell damage.

Published in a 3rd party system Date: 27 June 2013
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Mode of data capture
Lab observation
Data Creators(s): Lazzarino, A, Hamer, M, Gaze, D, Collinson, P and Steptoe, A
Associated roles: Marmot, M (Co-Investigator), Chida, Y (Data Collector), Endrighi, R (Data Collector), Murray, B (Data Collector), O'Donnell, K (Data Collector), Urbanova, L (Data Collector) and Walker, C (Data Collector)
LSHTM Faculty/Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Participating Institutions: University College London, St. George's Healthcare NHS Trust

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