Cumulative Load of Depressive Symptoms Is Associated With Cortisol Awakening Response in Very Old Age.
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KeywordsSalivary cortisol, HPA axis, Depressive symptoms, Oldest-old, Depression, Aging
Permissions© 2014 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Human Development May 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/ 10.1080/15427609.2014.906738
This study examined links of cumulative and present depressive symptoms with present cortisol diurnal profiles in oldest-old adults. Five waves of data from 50 older adults (M age = 89.05 years; 64% women) who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing were used to combine 15 years of longitudinal data with seven cortisol samples per day over a one-week period. Findings revealed that individuals with more past depressive symptoms showed a lower cortisol awakening response (CAR). Interestingly, present depressive symptoms were not associated with the CAR. These findings inform our understanding of distal health factors in very old age.