Relationship between cortisol, life events and metabolic syndrome in men

Bibiana Fabre, Halina Grosman, Osvaldo Mazza, Carlos Nolazco, Nahuel Fernandez MacHulsky, Viviana Mesch, Laura Schreier, Yori Gidron, Gabriela Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Psychological factors and stressful life events (LE) are considered to play a role in the onset of the metabolic syndrome (MS). We tested the association between LE and cortisol, a marker of chronic stress, with the risk of developing MS and their interaction. From a total number of 2906 men who completed a screening for the early detection of prostate cancer, 149 healthy men (mean ± SD age, 58.6 ± 7.7 years) were included in this study. Participants were assessed by the Holmes and Rahe questionnaire about their experience of LE during the previous 1-5 years. MS was diagnosed according to National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP-III) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Serum cortisol was measured at 08:00-09:00 h. Participants with MS (IDF criteria) reported significantly more past LE (p = 0.009) and greater summed weight of LE (p = 0.049) than those without MS. Furthermore, LE interacted with cortisol in relation to MS: in men with increased serum cortisol levels ( ≥ 13.7 μg/dl), number of LE significantly predicted MS-status (relative risk (RR) = 1.16, p = 0.03), whereas in men with low cortisol, LE were unrelated to MS (p = 0.52). We conclude that LE were significantly more prevalent in men with the MS than without the MS, according to IDF criteria, independent of the effects of age and body mass index, especially in men with increased serum cortisol levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal obesity
  • Cortisol
  • HPA axis
  • Life events
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between cortisol, life events and metabolic syndrome in men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this