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Hormonal status of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in an elderly Tunisian population.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Comptes Rendus Biologies
1631-0691
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
330
Issue
10
Pages
755–763
Identifiers
PMID: 17905395
Source
Medline

Abstract

Adrenal function and aging have been the object of intense interest recently, especially as regards dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), which is of major importance, since it is distinct from cortisol and aldosterone in declining with age. In a group of healthy old Tunisians, we investigated the association between cortisol and DHEA-S, on the one hand, and age, sex, lifestyle, physical health, including the body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and smoking indicators, on the other hand. We observed that cortisol concentrations did not change with aging, while DHEA-S concentrations decrease with age in both sexes. Cortisol/DHEA-S ratio, however, increases with aging. Our results revealed that DHEA-S levels are affected neither by physical activity nor by weight. It appears also that current smoking could not affect the level of DHEA-S. Relationships were found between DHEA-S concentrations and BMI, then between DHEA-S levels and serum cholesterol, triglycerides and calcium. No modification in the morning serum cortisol was found to be associated with aging. Decrease in DHEA-S levels is, however, clearly associated with this phenomenon. High cortisol/DHEA-S ratio accelerates the occurrence of some adult diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, dementia, and osteoporosis. Generally, the adrenal insufficiency marked by a cognitive impairment, immune disorders, sexual dysfunction, and scores for depression and anxiety can be corrected by a replacement of deficient DHEA-S.

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