Recent findings indicated associations between low cortisol levels, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risk factors among individuals with mood disorders.
“These results provide clues to better understand the high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in people with recurrent depressions or bipolar disorder. The results may in the future contribute to better preventative treatments of cardiovascular diseases in these disorders,” Martin Maripuu, PhD, of Umeå University, Sweden, said in a press release.
To assess associations between cortisol levels and metabolic disorders, researchers evaluated 245 individuals with bipolar disorder or recurrent depression and 258 controls. Participants underwent a low-dose weight-adjusted dexamethasone-suppression test.
Participants with hypocortisolism were more likely to be obese (OR = 4), overweight (OR = 4), have a large waist (OR = 2.7), high LDL (OR = 4.2), low HDL (OR = 2.4), high LDL/HDL ratio (OR = 3.3), high total cholesterol/HDL ratio (OR = 3.4) and metabolic syndrome (OR = 2), compared with participants without hypocortisolism.
Similar findings occurred among the control sample, according to researchers.
“The results show that cortisol regulation is linked to worsened physical health in people with bipolar disorder or recurrent depressions. However, further studies are needed in order to better understand these associations,” Maripuu said in the release. – by Amanda Oldt
Disclosure: Please see the full study for a list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.