Abstract| Volume 355, P159, August 2022

Association between hair steroid hormone levels and cardiometabolic risk factors in a group of women participating in the national CVD prevention program: A cross-sectional study

      Background and Aims : Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death worldwide. Although women develop CVD later than men, women’s morbidity and mortality from CVD are similar compared with men. Such a high prevalence of CVD cannot be explained completely by conventional risk factors. Recent studies indicate that chronic stress may be an independent CVD risk factor. Thus, we aimed to investigate the relationship between the biomarkers of chronic stress (hair cortisol, cortisone, DHEA levels) and traditional cardiovascular risk factors, as well as Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE2) index, in a group of women (50-64 years) participating in the national CVD prevention program.
      Methods: Fasting blood samples, anthropometric and lifestyle data were collected from 145 women. Hair steroid hormone concentrations were determined using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method.
      Results: Statistically significant associations between hair cortisol concentration and waist circumference (r=0.170, p=0.042), systolic (r=0.246, p=0.003) and diastolic blood pressure (r=0.227, p=0.006), apoE concentration (r=0.191, p=0.041) were found. Hair cortisone level correlated significantly with BMI (r=0.307, p=1.85×10-4), waist circumference (r=0.344, p=2.38×10-5), systolic (r=0.271, p=1.03×10-3) and diastolic (r=0.276, p=7.98×10-4) blood pressure, glucose (r=0.177, p=0.033) and HDL-cholesterol concentrations (r =-0.249, p=0.003). DHEA was associated with systolic (r=0.194, p=0.024) and diastolic (r=0.197, p=0.022) blood pressure. Significant associations between SCORE2 index and hair cortisol (r = 0.181, p=0.030), as well as cortisone (r=0.253, p=0.002) levels, were found.
      Conclusions: Significant association between hair steroid hormones and CVD risk factors supports a link between chronic stress and atherosclerosis in women.