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Early Psychosocial Exposures, Hair Cortisol Levels, and Disease Risk
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0723-139X
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2015 (English)In: Pediatrics, ISSN 0031-4005, E-ISSN 1098-4275, Vol. 135, no 6, E1450-E1457 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Early psychosocial exposures are increasingly recognized as being crucial to health throughout life. A possible mechanism could be physiologic dysregulation due to stress. Cortisol in hair is a new biomarker assessing long-term hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. The objective was to investigate whether early-life adverse psychosocial circumstances influence infant cortisol levels in hair and health outcomes in children prospectively until age 10. METHODS: A cohort study in the general community using a questionnaire covering 11 psychosocial items in the family during pregnancy and the cumulative incidence of diagnoses until age 10 years in 1876 children. Cortisol levels in hair were measured by using a radioimmunoassay in those with sufficient hair samples at age 1, yielding a subsample of n = 209. RESULTS: Children with added psychosocial exposures had higher infant cortisol levels in hair (B = 0.40, P less than .0001, adjusted for gender and size for gestational age) in a cumulative manner and were significantly more often affected by 12 of the 14 most common childhood diseases, with a general pattern of increasing odds ratios. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the model of physiologic dysregulation as a plausible mechanism by which the duration and number of early detrimental psychosocial exposures determine health outcomes. The model indicates that the multiplicity of adversities should be targeted in future interventions and could help to identify children who are at high risk of poor health. Furthermore, given the prolonged nature of exposure to a stressful social environment, the novel biomarker of cortisol in hair could be of major importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Academy of Pediatrics , 2015. Vol. 135, no 6, E1450-E1457 p.
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-119795DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-2561ISI: 000355557400012PubMedID: 25941311OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-119795DiVA: diva2:827256
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation (Barndiabetesfonden); Research Council of Southeast Sweden [FORSS-87771, FORSS-36321]; Swedish Medical Research Council [K99-72X-11242-05A]; Wallenberg Foundation [K 98-99D-12813-01A]; County Council of Ostergotland project grant, Linkoping, Sweden

Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2016-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Karlén, JerkerLudvigsson, JohnnyOlsen Faresjö, ÅshildTheodorsson, ElvarFaresjö, Tomas
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Division of Community MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDivision of Clinical SciencesDepartment of Paediatrics in LinköpingDivision of Microbiology and Molecular MedicineDepartment of Clinical Chemistry
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Pediatrics
Environmental Health and Occupational Health

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