Urinary 17-OHCS levels. Data on seven helicopter ambulance medics in combat.

Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.77). 08/1967; 17(1):104-10.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Cortisol responses to a laboratory stress protocol were investigated in 82 male firefighters. Saliva samples were collected during an adaptation period beginning between 9 and 10 am, and then at the end of each of six 10-min trials (a mental arithmetic task, an inter-task recovery period, a speech task, and three recovery periods). Individual differences in the mean cortisol response to the stress tasks were characterized by variation in the direction of the response, as well as the size of the response. Neither pre-stress cortisol levels nor responses were correlated with cardiovascular and mood responses. Cortisol levels before stress task presentation were negatively correlated with recent stress severity. Larger mean cortisol responses were associated with lower reports of recent stress exposure, lower negative affect scores, and a coping style characterized less experience of anger, more control over anger expression, and a tendency to screen out threatening information in stressful situations. Thus, increased cortisol activity was associated with less recent stress exposure and a more adaptive behavioral style than for those whose cortisol levels fell or were largely unchanged in response to a laboratory stressor.
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    ABSTRACT: The notion that chronic stress fosters disease by activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis is featured prominently in many theories. The research linking chronic stress and HPA function is contradictory, however, with some studies reporting increased activation, and others reporting the opposite. This meta-analysis showed that much of the variability is attributable to stressor and person features. Timing is an especially critical element, as hormonal activity is elevated at stressor onset but reduces as time passes. Stressors that threaten physical integrity, involve trauma, and are uncontrollable elicit a high, flat diurnal profile of cortisol secretion. Finally, HPA activity is shaped by a person's response to the situation; it increases with subjective distress but is lower in persons with posttraumatic stress disorder.
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    ABSTRACT: Determine the association between prenatal cocaine exposure and postnatal environmental adversity on salivary cortisol stress reactivity in school-aged children. Subjects included 743 11-year-old children (n = 320 cocaine-exposed; 423 comparison) followed since birth in a longitudinal prospective multisite study. Saliva samples were collected to measure cortisol at baseline and after a standardized procedure to induce psychological stress. Children were divided into those who showed an increase in cortisol from baseline to post stress and those who showed a decrease or blunted cortisol response. Covariates measured included site, birthweight, maternal pre and postnatal use of alcohol, tobacco or marijuana, social class, changes in caretakers, maternal depression and psychological symptoms, domestic and community violence, child abuse, and quality of the home. With adjustment for confounding variables, cortisol reactivity to stress was more likely to be blunted in children with prenatal cocaine exposure. Children exposed to cocaine and who experienced domestic violence showed the strongest effects. The combination of prenatal cocaine exposure and an adverse postnatal environment could downregulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis resulting in the blunted cortisol response to stress possibly increasing risk for later psychopathology and adult disease.
    The Journal of pediatrics 08/2010; 157(2):288-295.e1. · 4.02 Impact Factor