Hair cortisol and cortisone as markers of stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults

Belinda Davison, Gurmeet R. Singh, James McFarlane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Chronic, ongoing stress can impact negatively on health and wellbeing. Indigenous Australians are at an increased risk of experiencing multiple stressors. Hair glucocorticoids have been used as a marker for chronic stress. This study aimed to assess the associations of hair cortisol and cortisone with sociodemographic (age, gender, Indigenous Identification), substance use, emotional wellbeing, and emotional stress, in a cohort at increased risk of stressful events and psychological distress. Cross-sectional data (age 21–28 years) are presented from two Australian longitudinal studies; the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (n = 253) and non-Indigenous Top End Cohort (n = 72). A third of the cohort reported psychological distress, with Indigenous participants reporting higher rates of stressful events compared to non-Indigenous (6 vs. 1; p <.001). Significantly higher levels of cortisone were seen in Indigenous women compared to non-Indigenous women (β 0.21; p =.003). A positive association with age was present in hair cortisol and cortisone in Indigenous young adults (β 0.29 and β 0.41; p <.001, respectively). No association with substance use, emotional wellbeing or emotional stress was seen. Sub-analysis in women suggested a possible curvilinear relationship between hair cortisone and the number of stressful events. In this culturally diverse cohort, hair sampling provides a noninvasive, easily conducted and generally well tolerated mechanism to measure stress markers. The association with age, even in this narrow age range, likely represents the manifold changes in circumstances (financial independence, becoming parents, increased risk of substance use and mental illness) that occur during this transitional period of life, particularly for young Indigenous women. LAY ABSTRACT Chronic stress can impact negatively on health and emotional wellbeing. A hair sample is an easy way to measure chronic stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. The markers of chronic stress, cortisol and cortisone, were different between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, men and women and increased with age in Indigenous young adults.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)210-220
    Number of pages11
    JournalStress
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    Early online date20 Jan 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2019

    Fingerprint

    Cortisone
    Hair
    Hydrocortisone
    Young Adult
    Psychological Stress
    Psychology
    Health
    Glucocorticoids
    Longitudinal Studies
    Parents
    Parturition

    Cite this

    Davison, Belinda ; Singh, Gurmeet R. ; McFarlane, James. / Hair cortisol and cortisone as markers of stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults. In: Stress. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 210-220.
    @article{f00fe070f81f467589fb9b55a89c4b70,
    title = "Hair cortisol and cortisone as markers of stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults",
    abstract = "Chronic, ongoing stress can impact negatively on health and wellbeing. Indigenous Australians are at an increased risk of experiencing multiple stressors. Hair glucocorticoids have been used as a marker for chronic stress. This study aimed to assess the associations of hair cortisol and cortisone with sociodemographic (age, gender, Indigenous Identification), substance use, emotional wellbeing, and emotional stress, in a cohort at increased risk of stressful events and psychological distress. Cross-sectional data (age 21–28 years) are presented from two Australian longitudinal studies; the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (n = 253) and non-Indigenous Top End Cohort (n = 72). A third of the cohort reported psychological distress, with Indigenous participants reporting higher rates of stressful events compared to non-Indigenous (6 vs. 1; p <.001). Significantly higher levels of cortisone were seen in Indigenous women compared to non-Indigenous women (β 0.21; p =.003). A positive association with age was present in hair cortisol and cortisone in Indigenous young adults (β 0.29 and β 0.41; p <.001, respectively). No association with substance use, emotional wellbeing or emotional stress was seen. Sub-analysis in women suggested a possible curvilinear relationship between hair cortisone and the number of stressful events. In this culturally diverse cohort, hair sampling provides a noninvasive, easily conducted and generally well tolerated mechanism to measure stress markers. The association with age, even in this narrow age range, likely represents the manifold changes in circumstances (financial independence, becoming parents, increased risk of substance use and mental illness) that occur during this transitional period of life, particularly for young Indigenous women. LAY ABSTRACT Chronic stress can impact negatively on health and emotional wellbeing. A hair sample is an easy way to measure chronic stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. The markers of chronic stress, cortisol and cortisone, were different between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, men and women and increased with age in Indigenous young adults.",
    keywords = "Hair cortisol, hair cortisone, Indigenous, non-Indigenous, stressful events, young adults",
    author = "Belinda Davison and Singh, {Gurmeet R.} and James McFarlane",
    year = "2019",
    month = "1",
    day = "20",
    doi = "10.1080/10253890.2018.1543395",
    language = "English",
    volume = "22",
    pages = "210--220",
    journal = "Stress: the International Journal on the Biology of Stress",
    issn = "1025-3890",
    publisher = "Informa Healthcare",
    number = "2",

    }

    Hair cortisol and cortisone as markers of stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults. / Davison, Belinda; Singh, Gurmeet R.; McFarlane, James.

    In: Stress, Vol. 22, No. 2, 20.01.2019, p. 210-220.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Hair cortisol and cortisone as markers of stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults

    AU - Davison, Belinda

    AU - Singh, Gurmeet R.

    AU - McFarlane, James

    PY - 2019/1/20

    Y1 - 2019/1/20

    N2 - Chronic, ongoing stress can impact negatively on health and wellbeing. Indigenous Australians are at an increased risk of experiencing multiple stressors. Hair glucocorticoids have been used as a marker for chronic stress. This study aimed to assess the associations of hair cortisol and cortisone with sociodemographic (age, gender, Indigenous Identification), substance use, emotional wellbeing, and emotional stress, in a cohort at increased risk of stressful events and psychological distress. Cross-sectional data (age 21–28 years) are presented from two Australian longitudinal studies; the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (n = 253) and non-Indigenous Top End Cohort (n = 72). A third of the cohort reported psychological distress, with Indigenous participants reporting higher rates of stressful events compared to non-Indigenous (6 vs. 1; p <.001). Significantly higher levels of cortisone were seen in Indigenous women compared to non-Indigenous women (β 0.21; p =.003). A positive association with age was present in hair cortisol and cortisone in Indigenous young adults (β 0.29 and β 0.41; p <.001, respectively). No association with substance use, emotional wellbeing or emotional stress was seen. Sub-analysis in women suggested a possible curvilinear relationship between hair cortisone and the number of stressful events. In this culturally diverse cohort, hair sampling provides a noninvasive, easily conducted and generally well tolerated mechanism to measure stress markers. The association with age, even in this narrow age range, likely represents the manifold changes in circumstances (financial independence, becoming parents, increased risk of substance use and mental illness) that occur during this transitional period of life, particularly for young Indigenous women. LAY ABSTRACT Chronic stress can impact negatively on health and emotional wellbeing. A hair sample is an easy way to measure chronic stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. The markers of chronic stress, cortisol and cortisone, were different between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, men and women and increased with age in Indigenous young adults.

    AB - Chronic, ongoing stress can impact negatively on health and wellbeing. Indigenous Australians are at an increased risk of experiencing multiple stressors. Hair glucocorticoids have been used as a marker for chronic stress. This study aimed to assess the associations of hair cortisol and cortisone with sociodemographic (age, gender, Indigenous Identification), substance use, emotional wellbeing, and emotional stress, in a cohort at increased risk of stressful events and psychological distress. Cross-sectional data (age 21–28 years) are presented from two Australian longitudinal studies; the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (n = 253) and non-Indigenous Top End Cohort (n = 72). A third of the cohort reported psychological distress, with Indigenous participants reporting higher rates of stressful events compared to non-Indigenous (6 vs. 1; p <.001). Significantly higher levels of cortisone were seen in Indigenous women compared to non-Indigenous women (β 0.21; p =.003). A positive association with age was present in hair cortisol and cortisone in Indigenous young adults (β 0.29 and β 0.41; p <.001, respectively). No association with substance use, emotional wellbeing or emotional stress was seen. Sub-analysis in women suggested a possible curvilinear relationship between hair cortisone and the number of stressful events. In this culturally diverse cohort, hair sampling provides a noninvasive, easily conducted and generally well tolerated mechanism to measure stress markers. The association with age, even in this narrow age range, likely represents the manifold changes in circumstances (financial independence, becoming parents, increased risk of substance use and mental illness) that occur during this transitional period of life, particularly for young Indigenous women. LAY ABSTRACT Chronic stress can impact negatively on health and emotional wellbeing. A hair sample is an easy way to measure chronic stress in Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people. The markers of chronic stress, cortisol and cortisone, were different between Indigenous and non-Indigenous, men and women and increased with age in Indigenous young adults.

    KW - Hair cortisol

    KW - hair cortisone

    KW - Indigenous

    KW - non-Indigenous

    KW - stressful events

    KW - young adults

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85060331234&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/10253890.2018.1543395

    DO - 10.1080/10253890.2018.1543395

    M3 - Article

    VL - 22

    SP - 210

    EP - 220

    JO - Stress: the International Journal on the Biology of Stress

    JF - Stress: the International Journal on the Biology of Stress

    SN - 1025-3890

    IS - 2

    ER -