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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 3, 2015

Physical activity does not attenuate the relationship between daily cortisol and metabolic syndrome in obese youth

  • Emily Hill Guseman EMAIL logo , Karin A. Pfeiffer , Joseph J. Carlson , Kathy Stansbury and Joey C. Eisenmann


Objective: We examined the associations among daily cortisol, physical activity (MVPA) and continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS) in obese youth.

Methods: Fifty adolescents (mean age 14.8±1.9 years) were recruited from medical clinics. Daily MVPA (min/day) was assessed by accelerometry. Saliva was sampled at prescribed times: immediately upon waking; 30 min after waking; and 3, 6 and 9 h after waking. Fasting lipids, glucose, waist circumference and blood pressure were used to calculate a continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS). Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine associations among variables.

Results: The mean cMetS score was 4.16±4.30 and did not differ by clinic or sex. No significant relationship was found between cortisol area under the curve (cAUC) and cMetS, nor did the interaction of MVPA with cAUC significantly predict cMetS.

Conclusions: Physical activity, cortisol, and metabolic risk were not associated in this sample of obese adolescents. Future research should examine the role of insulin sensitivity in these relationships.

Corresponding author: Emily Hill Guseman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physical Activity and Health, College of Health Sciences, Division of Kinesiology and Health, Dept. 3196, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071, USA, Phone: +1-307-766-4111, Fax: +1+307-766-4098, E-mail: ; and University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA


This project was funded by a North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM) student grant and the Michigan State University College of Education. The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Jennifer Fenton, Eric Gurzell, Jason Wiesinger and Elizabeth Hunt, as well as the staff of the Healthy Weight Center and Academic General Pediatrics Clinic at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners.


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Received: 2015-5-4
Accepted: 2015-8-3
Published Online: 2015-9-3
Published in Print: 2016-1-1

©2016 by De Gruyter

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