Morning cortisol levels and cognitive abilities in people with type 2 diabetes

The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study

Rebecca M Reynolds, Mark W J Strachan, Javier Labad, Amanda Jane Lee, Brian M Frier, F Gerald Fowkes, Rory Mitchell, Jonathan R Seckl, Ian J Deary, Brian R Walker, Jackie F Price, Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive impairment but the mechanism is uncertain. Elevated glucocorticoid levels in rodents and humans are associated with cognitive impairment. We aimed to determine whether fasting cortisol levels are associated with cognitive ability and estimated lifetime cognitive change in an elderly population with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 1,066 men and women aged 60-75 years with type 2 diabetes, living in Lothian, Scotland (the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study). Cognitive abilities in memory, nonverbal reasoning, information processing speed, executive function, and mental flexibility were tested, and a general cognitive ability factor, g, was derived. Prior intelligence was estimated from vocabulary testing, and adjustment for scores on this test was used to estimate lifetime cognitive change. Relationships between fasting morning plasma cortisol levels and cognitive ability and estimated cognitive change were tested. Models were adjusted for potential confounding and/or mediating variables including metabolic and cardiovascular variables. RESULTS: In age-adjusted analyses, higher fasting cortisol levels were not associated with current g or with performance in individual cognitive domains. However, higher fasting cortisol levels were associated with greater estimated cognitive decline in g and in tests of working memory and processing speed, independent of mood, education, metabolic variables, and cardiovascular disease (P <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: High morning cortisol levels in elderly people with type 2 diabetes are associated with estimated age-related cognitive change. Strategies targeted at lowering cortisol action may be useful in ameliorating cognitive decline in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-720
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Aptitude
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Hydrocortisone
Fasting
Vocabulary
Metabolic Diseases
Executive Function
Scotland
Intelligence
Automatic Data Processing
Short-Term Memory
Glucocorticoids
Rodentia
Research Design
Cardiovascular Diseases
Cross-Sectional Studies
Education
Cognitive Dysfunction
Population

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Reynolds, R. M., Strachan, M. W. J., Labad, J., Lee, A. J., Frier, B. M., Fowkes, F. G., ... Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) Investigators (2010). Morning cortisol levels and cognitive abilities in people with type 2 diabetes: The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study. Diabetes Care, 33(4), 714-720. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc09-1796

Morning cortisol levels and cognitive abilities in people with type 2 diabetes : The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study. / Reynolds, Rebecca M; Strachan, Mark W J; Labad, Javier; Lee, Amanda Jane; Frier, Brian M; Fowkes, F Gerald; Mitchell, Rory; Seckl, Jonathan R; Deary, Ian J; Walker, Brian R; Price, Jackie F; Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) Investigators.

In: Diabetes Care, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2010, p. 714-720.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reynolds, RM, Strachan, MWJ, Labad, J, Lee, AJ, Frier, BM, Fowkes, FG, Mitchell, R, Seckl, JR, Deary, IJ, Walker, BR, Price, JF & Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) Investigators 2010, 'Morning cortisol levels and cognitive abilities in people with type 2 diabetes: The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study', Diabetes Care, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 714-720. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc09-1796
Reynolds, Rebecca M ; Strachan, Mark W J ; Labad, Javier ; Lee, Amanda Jane ; Frier, Brian M ; Fowkes, F Gerald ; Mitchell, Rory ; Seckl, Jonathan R ; Deary, Ian J ; Walker, Brian R ; Price, Jackie F ; Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study (ET2DS) Investigators. / Morning cortisol levels and cognitive abilities in people with type 2 diabetes : The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study. In: Diabetes Care. 2010 ; Vol. 33, No. 4. pp. 714-720.
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