Dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and physical performance at older ages: An individual participant meta-analysis

Michael P. Gardner, Stafford Lightman, Avan Aihie Sayer, Cyrus Cooper, Rachel Cooper, Dorly Deeg, Shah Ebrahim, John Gallacher, Mika Kivimaki, Meena Kumari, Diana Kuh, Richard M. Martin, Geeske Peeters, Yoav Ben-Shlomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The association between functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and physical performance at older ages remains poorly understood. We carried out meta-analyses to test the hypothesis that dysregulation of the HPA axis, as indexed by patterns of diurnal cortisol release, is associated with worse physical performance. Data from six adult cohorts (ages 50-92 years) were included in a two stage meta-analysis of individual participant data. We analysed each study separately using linear and logistic regression models and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance outcome measures were walking speed, balance time, chair rise time and grip strength. Exposure measures were morning (serum and salivary) and evening (salivary) cortisol. Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from n=2146 for associations between morning Cortisol Awakening Response and balance to n=8448 for associations between morning cortisol and walking speed. A larger diurnal drop was associated with faster walking speed (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.052, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.029, 0.076, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Healthy ageing
  • HPA axis
  • Physical capability

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