The Association of Anthropometrics, Adipokines and Body Fat Distribution with Morning Serum Cortisol in African Americans: Jackson Heart Study
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Epidemiology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2020
Background: Altered hormonal regulation, including cortisol, is a proposed mechanism linking adiposity to obesity-related disorders. African Americans (AAs) have differences in body fat distribution compared to whites including less visceral and more subcutaneous fat, which may be reflected in the association of cortisol with adiposity. We examined the association of anthropometric, adipokine and body fat distribution measures of adiposity with morning serum cortisol (cortisol) in an AA cohort, the Jackson Heart Study. Methods: We examined the cross-sectional associations of adiposity measures (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC], leptin, adiponectin, leptin:adiponectin ratio [LAR], subcutaneous [SAT] and visceral adipose tissue [VAT], and liver fat with cortisol. Leptin, adiponectin, LAR, cortisol, SAT, VAT, and liver fat were log-transformed and standardized (z-scores) prior to analysis due to positively skewed distributions. Linear regression models were used to analyze the association between exposures and cortisol. Models were adjusted for age, sex, education, occupation, systolic blood pressure, smoking, physical activity, hormone replacement therapy, β-blocker medication, and time of cortisol collection. Results: Among 4,211 participants, a 1-SD higher BMI, WC, leptin, leptin:adiponectin ratio, SAT were associated with a 3.92%, 3.05%, 6.48%, 4.97% and 4.97% lower cortisol (all p < 0.001). A 1-SD higher adiponectin was associated with a 2.33% higher cortisol (p<0.001). Leptin levels in the 2nd - 4th quartiles were associated with a graded 7.6%, 11.6%, 15.5% lower cortisol, respectively (all p<0.0001). Compared to normal BMI, overweight BMI (25-29.99 kg/m2) and obese BMI (≥ 30 kg/m2) were associated with a graded 7.7% and 13.2% lower cortisol, respectively (both p<0.0001). There were no associations of liver fat or VAT with cortisol. Conclusion: Several measures of adiposity are associated with lower morning serum cortisol among AAs with leptin having the greatest magnitude. Future studies examining the role of morning serum cortisol in the pathway from adiposity to cardiometabolic disease in AAs are warranted.
Academic Major: Economics
Endocrine Society Summer Research Fellowship