Objective: The precise mechanisms behind the development of hypertension in overweight or obese children are not yet completely understood. Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity may play a role. We aimed to investigate the association between cortisol parameters and hypertension in overweight or obese children. Methods: Random urine (n=180) and early-morning saliva samples (n=126) for assessment of cortisol and cortisone were collected from 1) hypertensive overweight children (n=50), 2) normotensive overweight children (n=145), and 3) normotensive non-overweight children (n=75). Results: The age of participants was 10.4±3.3 years and 53% were boys. The urinary cortisol-to-cortisone ratio [β 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.19] as well as urinary cortisol/creatinine (β 1.38, 95% CI 1.09-1.54), and cortisone/creatinine ratios (β 1.26, 95% CI 1.17-1.36) were significantly higher in overweight or obese than in non-overweight children. After adjusting for body mass index-standard deviation score and urinary cortisone/creatinine ratio, but not cortisol/creatinine ratio, was significantly associated with presence of hypertension (β 1.12, 95% CI 1.02-1.23). Salivary cortisol and cortisone levels were significantly lower in overweight or obese than in non-overweight children (β -4.67, 95% CI -8.19- -1.15, and β 0.89, 95% CI 0.80-0.97 respectively). There were no significant differences in cortisol parameters between hypertensive and normotensive overweight or obese children. Conclusion: This study provided further evidence for an increased cortisol production rate with decreased renal 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 activity and flattening of early-morning peak cortisol and cortisone in overweight or obese children. However, there were no significant differences in cortisol parameters between hypertensive and normotensive overweight and obese children.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Children, Cortisol, Hypertension, Obesity, Pathophysiology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.4274/jcrpe.4802, hdl.handle.net/1765/108422
Journal JCRPE Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology
Citation
Wirix, A.J.G, Finken, M.J, von Rosenstiel-Jadoul, I.A. (Ines A), Heijboer, M.P, Nauta, J, Groothoff, J.W, … Kist-Van Holthe, J.E. (2017). Is there an association between cortisol and hypertension in overweight or obese children?. JCRPE Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology, 9(4), 344–349. doi:10.4274/jcrpe.4802