Cortisol, DHEA sulphate, their ratio, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the Vietnam Experience Study
ABSTRACT The aim of the present analyses was to examine the association between cortisol, DHEA sulphate (DHEAS) and the cortisol:DHEAS ratio and mortality.
This was a prospective cohort analysis.
Participants were 4255 Vietnam-era US army veterans. From military service files, telephone interviews and a medical examination, occupational, socio-demographic and health data were collected. Contemporary morning fasted cortisol and DHEAS concentrations were determined. Mortality was tracked over the subsequent 15 years. The outcomes were all-cause, cardiovascular disease, cancer, other medical mortality and external causes of death. Cox proportional hazard models were tested, initially with adjustment for age, and then with adjustment for a range of candidate confounders.
In general, cortisol concentrations did not show an association with all-cause or cause-specific mortality. However, in age-adjusted and fully adjusted analyses, DHEAS was negatively related to all-cause, all cancers and other medical mortality; high DHEAS concentrations were protective. The cortisol:DHEAS ratio was also associated with these outcomes in both age-adjusted and fully adjusted models; the higher the ratio, the greater the risk of death.
DHEAS was negatively associated, and the ratio of cortisol to DHEAS was positively associated with all-cause, cancer and other medical cause mortality. Further experimental study is needed to elucidate the mechanisms involved in these relationships.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: Human immune function is strongly influenced by variation in hormone concentrations. The adrenal androgens dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) are thought to be beneficial to immune function and disease resistance, but physiologically interact with testosterone and cortisol. We predict that DHEA and DHEA-S will interact with these other hormones in determining immunological outcomes. Understanding the interactive effects of these hormones will aid in understanding variability in immunocompetence and clarify discrepancies in human studies of androgen–immune interactions. Methods: Thirty-eight participants collected morning saliva over three days, from which concentrations of DHEA, DHEA-S, testosterone, and cortisol were measured, as well as salivary bacteria killing ability to measure innate immune function. From blood collection, serum was collected to measure innate immune function via a hemolytic complement assay, and whole blood collected and processed to measure proliferative responses of lymphocytes in the presence of mitogens. Results: DHEA was negatively correlated with T cell proliferation, and positively correlated with salivary bacteria killing in male participants. Additionally, using regression models, DHEA-S was negatively associated with hemolytic complement activity, but interaction variables did not yield statistically significant relationships for any other outcome measure. Conclusions: While interactions with other hormones did not significantly relate with immune function measures in this sample, DHEA and DHEA-S did differentially impact multiple branches of the immune system. Generally characterized as immunosupportive in action, DHEA is shown to inhibit certain facets of innate and cell-mediated immunity , suggesting a more complex role in regulating immunocompetence.American Journal of Human Biology 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/ajhb.22724 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Frailty is a multidimensional geriatric syndrome characterised by a state of increased vulnerability to disease. Its causes are unclear, limiting opportunities for intervention. Age-related changes to the immune-endocrine axis are implicated. This study investigated the associations between the immune-endocrine axis and frailty as well as mortality 10 years later among men and women aged 65 to 70 years. We studied 254 participants of the Hertfordshire Ageing Study at baseline and 10-year follow-up. At baseline, they completed a health questionnaire and had collection of blood samples for immune-endocrine analysis. At follow-up, Fried frailty was characterised and mortality ascertained. Higher baseline levels of differential white cell counts (WCC), lower levels of dehydroepiandosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and higher cortisol:DHEAS ratio were all significantly associated with increased odds of frailty at 10-year follow-up. Baseline WCC and cortisol:DHEAS clearly discriminated between individuals who went on to be frail at follow-up. We present the first evidence that immune-endocrine biomarkers are associated with the likelihood of frailty as well as mortality over a 10-year period. This augments our understanding of the aetiology of frailty, and suggests that a screening programme at ages 60-70 years could help to identify individuals who are at high risk of becoming frail and who would benefit from early, targeted intervention, for example with DHEA supplementation or anti-inflammatory strategies. Progress towards the prevention of frailty would bring major health and socio-economic benefits at the individual and the population level.Age 03/2012; DOI:10.1007/s11357-012-9396-8 · 3.45 Impact Factor
- Internal Medicine News 09/2010; 43(15):36-36. DOI:10.1016/S1097-8690(10)70788-5