Cortisol, DHEA sulphate, their ratio, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the Vietnam Experience Study

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, UK.
European Journal of Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 3.69). 05/2010; 163(2):285-92. DOI: 10.1530/EJE-10-0299
Source: PubMed

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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    • "For example, cortisol has significant interactions with testosterone which influence immunological responses to hepatitis B vaccination in humans (Rantala et al., 2012). Additionally, DHEA exerts interactive properties, acting as an anti-glucocorticoid in rodent experimentation (Ben-Nathan et al., 1992) and is related to disease and health outcomes in humans (Arlt et al., 2006; Phillips et al., 2010a,b). Exploring the immunological interactions between DHEA and cortisol would yield a greater understanding of how HPA activation mediates immune function. "
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    • "For example, white blood cells are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality (Grimm et al. 1985). Levels of dehydroepiandosterone sulphate (DHEAS) decline with age, and these too are associated with increased morbidity including cardiovascular disease (Thijs et al. 2003), osteoporosis (Zofkova and Hill 2008) and all-cause mortality (Phillips et al. 2010). "
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May 27, 2014