High cortisol levels in the oﬀspring of parents with bipolar disorder during two weeks of daily samplingBipolar Disorders (2010)
Objectives: The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is compromised in major depression, bipolar disorder (BD), and in the oﬀspring of parents with major depression. Less is known about the oﬀspring of parents with BD (FH+). The present project provides follow-up to a previous study showing that the adolescent (mean age 16.7 years) FH+ oﬀspring had higher salivary cortisol levels than theoﬀspringofparentswithnomentaldisorder(FH))throughouttheday in their natural environment, and that girls had higher cortisol levels than boys (Ellenbogen MA, Hodgins S, Walker C-D, Adam S, Couture S. Daytime cortisol and stress reactivity in the oﬀspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2006; 31: 1164–1180). The goal of the present study was to determine whether FH+ oﬀspring, approximately two years later, continued to exhibit elevated cortisol levels relative to FH) oﬀspring during two weeks of daily sampling.
Methods: The present study examined salivary cortisol levels in 24 (18.3 ± 2.6 years) FH+ and 22 (18.0 ± 2.3 years) FH) oﬀspring who are part of the same longitudinal cohort as the previous study. Saliva was collected at 1300h and 1500h in the natural environment of the oﬀspring during 14 consecutive days.
Results: Multilevel modelling analyses indicated that FH+ oﬀspring had higher afternoon levels of cortisol in their natural environment than FH) oﬀspring, but group diﬀerences in slope and gender diﬀerences were not found.
Conclusions: The FH+ oﬀspring exhibited increased daytime secretion of cortisol that, at the level of the group, persisted into late adolescence and young adulthood. Perhaps this change in HPA functioning is associated with an increased vulnerability for the development of an aﬀective disorder.
Citation InformationJonathan Bruce Santo. "High cortisol levels in the oﬀspring of parents with bipolar disorder during two weeks of daily sampling" Bipolar Disorders (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jonathan_santo/43/