Whites have a more robust hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to a psychological stressor than blacks

Rachel Y. Chong, Magdalena Uhart, Mary Elizabeth McCaul, Elizabeth Ann Colantuoni, Gary S Wand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Differences in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress may confer differences in susceptibility to a variety of diseases. We hypothesized that whites would differ from blacks in HPA axis response to a psychological stressor. Design: Healthy subjects aged 18-30 were recruited from Baltimore, Maryland. At initial assessment, they completed psychometric tests measuring anxiety, mood, and personality. Subjects then participated in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which consisted of 10 min of public speaking and mental arithmetic exercises. Subjective anxiety was measured immediately pre- and post-TSST. Race effects on cortisol, adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH), and prolactin responses to the TSST were analyzed by GEE longitudinal analysis methods. The analysis controlled for gender, baseline hormone levels, socioeconomic factors, anxiety, mood, and dimensions of personality. Results: Ninety-eight subjects participated in the TSST. Whites had 36% greater relative mean cortisol response than blacks (95% CI: 10-67%, P=0.004). Whites had significantly higher mean ACTH compared to blacks at 25 min after the start of the TSST (35%, 95% CI: 16-58% greater, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

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Exercise Test
Psychology
Anxiety
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Personality
Hydrocortisone
Baltimore
Psychometrics
Prolactin
Healthy Volunteers
Hormones
Exercise

Keywords

  • ACTH
  • Cortisol
  • HPA axis
  • Prolactin
  • Race
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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title = "Whites have a more robust hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to a psychological stressor than blacks",
abstract = "Objective: Differences in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress may confer differences in susceptibility to a variety of diseases. We hypothesized that whites would differ from blacks in HPA axis response to a psychological stressor. Design: Healthy subjects aged 18-30 were recruited from Baltimore, Maryland. At initial assessment, they completed psychometric tests measuring anxiety, mood, and personality. Subjects then participated in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which consisted of 10 min of public speaking and mental arithmetic exercises. Subjective anxiety was measured immediately pre- and post-TSST. Race effects on cortisol, adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH), and prolactin responses to the TSST were analyzed by GEE longitudinal analysis methods. The analysis controlled for gender, baseline hormone levels, socioeconomic factors, anxiety, mood, and dimensions of personality. Results: Ninety-eight subjects participated in the TSST. Whites had 36{\%} greater relative mean cortisol response than blacks (95{\%} CI: 10-67{\%}, P=0.004). Whites had significantly higher mean ACTH compared to blacks at 25 min after the start of the TSST (35{\%}, 95{\%} CI: 16-58{\%} greater, P",
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AU - Wand, Gary S

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