To examine associations of hair cortisol concentration (HCC) in mid-childhood and change in HCC from mid-childhood to early adolescence (ΔHCC) with early adolescent adiposity and cardiometabolic biomarker measures.
In Project Viva, a pre-birth cohort of mothers and children, we measured HCC in 599 white children in mid-childhood and in 426 of these participants in early adolescence. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations of mid-childhood HCC and ΔHCC with BMI-for-age-and-sex z score, waist circumference, waist-height ratio, dual X-ray absorptiometry total and trunk fat mass, a metabolic risk z score, adiponectin, HOMA-IR, high-density lipoprotein, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, leptin, and systolic blood pressure.
Over a mean (SD) follow-up of 5.2 (0.8) years, we did not find associations of mid-childhood HCC with BMI-for-age-and-sex z score (β = 0.00 per 1-interquartile range of HCC, 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.08 to 0.07), waist circumference (β = -0.04 cm, 95% CI, -0.83 to 0.74), metabolic risk z score (β = 0.04, 95% CI, -0.03 to 0.11), or other cardiometabolic measures except for an increase in log-transformed HOMA-IR (β = 0.10, 95% CI, 0.04-0.17). ΔHCC was not associated with any outcome measures.
We found that mid-childhood HCC was not associated with early adolescent adiposity or cardiometabolic biomarkers except for a slight increase in HOMA-IR.