The present study examined associations between psychological reactivity and hormonal responses to a standardized laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST) in postmenopausal women.Postmenopausal women aged 50-74 years undertook anxiety and mood assessments prior to and following the TSST. Blood samples were drawn at multiple timepoints for assessment of cortisol, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).Forty postmenopausal women completed the assessments. As expected, significant increases in anxiety and negative affect and decreases in positive affect were observed after the TSST; however, the magnitude of change in anxiety and mood varied considerably across individuals. Analyses indicated that greater increases in anxiety and negative affect after the TSST were associated with higher levels of cortisol, ACTH and DHEA after controlling for race, age, body mass index and smoking status. Changes in positive affect were not associated with cortisol, ACTH or DHEA.These findings suggest that enhanced reactivity to stress is associated with higher hormone levels among postmenopausal women, which could have potential implications for health.
View details for DOI 10.1177/0300060513504696
View details for Web of Science ID 000333007000021
View details for PubMedID 24595153
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4046251