Intraindividual variation in recent stress exposure as a moderator of cortisol and testosterone levels
- 163 Downloads
Intraindividual variation in recent stress exposure and its impact upon cortisol and testosterone was investigated. Over 1 year, 72 young male firefighters completed the Daily Stress Inventories, for 2 shift cycles (16 days), every 3 months. At the end of each 16-day period each participant attended a 1-hr morning assessment session. Saliva samples and blood pressure measurements were taken at 10-min intervals, and at 30 min, a blood sample was drawn. Across the year of assessment, there were significant linear relationships in reported stress and in neuroendocrine activity. In contrast to expectations, as daily stress decreased across the year (p < .008), salivary cortisol increased (p < .001) and testosterone levels decreased (p < .001). Within-subjects comparisons of the sessions with the highest and lowest stress confirmed these linear relationships: Lower stress prior to the assessment session was associated with higher cortisol levels (p < .01). These results, though in contrast to the orthodoxy concerning the association between stress and cortisol, are supported by findings in a number of other studies and may constitute down regulation of cortisol activity following an increment in stress exposure.
KeywordsCortisol Testosterone Cortisol Level Testosterone Level Behavioral Medicine
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- (13).Orth DN, Kovacs WJ, deBolds CR: The adrenal cortex. In Wilson JD, Foster DW (eds),Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. Philadelphia:Saunders, 1992, 489–619.Google Scholar
- (14).Sapolsky RM:Stress, the Aging Brain, and the Mechanisms of Neuron Death. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.Google Scholar
- (17).Welsh TH, Kemper-Green CN, Livingstone KN: Stress and reproduction. In Knobil E, Neill JD (eds),Encyclopedia of Reproduction. San Diego: Academic Press, 1999, 662–674.Google Scholar
- (18).Cummings DC, Quigley ME, Yen SS: Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1983,57:671–673.Google Scholar
- (24).Filaire E, Sagnol M, Ferrand C, Maso F, Lac G: Psychophysiological stress in judo athletes during competitions.Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness. 2001,41:263–268.Google Scholar
- (28).Torii R, Kitagawa N, Nigi H, Ohsawa N: Effects of repeated restraint stress at 30-min intervals during 24-hour on serum testosterone, LH and glucocorticoids levels in male Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata).Jikken Dobutsu (Experimental Animals). 1993,42:67–73.Google Scholar
- (36).Spielberger CD, Krasner SS: The assessment of state and trait anxiety. In Burrows GD, Noyes R, Roth M (eds),Handbook of Anxiety (Vol. 2). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier, 1987.Google Scholar
- (38).Vedhara K, Shanks N, Anderson S, Lightman S: The role of stressors and psychosocial variables in the stress process: A study of chronic caregiver stress.Psychosomatic Medicine. 1999,62:374–385.Google Scholar