In adults with obesity, copeptin is linked with BMI but is not associated with long-term exposure to cortisol and cortisone

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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  • 1 E van der Valk, Endocrinology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 2 B van der Voorn, Endocrinology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 3 A Iyer, Endocrinology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 4 S van den Berg, Clinical Chemistry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 5 M Savas, Internal Medicine, division of Endocrinology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Rotterdam, 3000 CA, Netherlands
  • 6 Y de Rijke, Clinical Chemistry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 7 E van den Akker, pediatric endocrinology, Erasmus MC, rotterdam, 3051 JD, Netherlands
  • 8 O Melander, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, Malmo University Hospital, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 9 E van Rossum, Endocrinology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Correspondence: Elisabeth F.C. van Rossum, Email: e.vanrossum@erasmusmc.nl
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Context. Obesity and cardiometabolic diseases are associated with higher long-term glucocorticoid levels, measured as scalp hair cortisol (hairF) and cortisone (hairE). Cardiometabolic diseases have also been associated with copeptin, a stable surrogate marker for the arginine-vasopressin (AVP) system. Since AVP is, together with corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) an important regulator of the hypothalamic- pituitary adrenal axis (HPA-axis), we hypothesize that AVP contributes to chronic hypercortisolism in obesity.

Objective. To investigate whether copeptin levels are associated with higher hairF and hairE levels in obesity.

Design. A cross-sectional study in 51 adults with obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2).

Methods. Associations and interactions between copeptin, hairF, hairE, and cardiometabolic parameters were cross-sectionally analyzed.

Results. Copeptin was strongly associated with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), (rho=0.364 and 0.530, p=0.008 and <0.001 respectively), also after correction for confounders. There were no associations between copeptin and hairF or hairE on a continuous or dichotomized scale, despite correction for confounders.

Conclusion. In patients with obesity, AVP seems not a major contributor to the frequently observed high cortisol levels. Other factors which stimulate the HPA-axis or affect cortisol synthesis or breakdown may be more important than the influence of AVP on long-term glucocorticoid levels in obesity.

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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