Cortisol awakening rise in middle-aged women in relation to psychological stress.

The cortisol awakening rise (CAR) is defined as cortisol secretory activity in the first 45-60min immediately post-awakening. It has been suggested that psychological factors may disrupt the normal awakening rise. Recent research has shown that psychological stress may influence the magnitude of the CAR, however the findings have been mixed. This study examined the impact of stress on the CAR and the diurnal mean in a sample of middle-aged women.
The results suggest that psychological stress may be associated with a smaller cortisol awakening rise, a lower diurnal mean, poor lifestyle choices and high levels of psychological distress. These findings may have broader implications for future health risk and for an individual's ability to cope with imminent daily stressors and demands.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Jun 9.
O'Connor DB, Hendrickx H, Dadd T, Elliman TD, Willis TA, Talbot D, Mayes AE, Thethi K, Powell J, Dye L.

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