OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have suggested that abnormal levels of cortisol and testosterone might increase the risk of serious somatic diseases. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a 5-year follow-up study in middle-aged men. METHODS: A population-based cohort study conducted in 1995 amongst 141 Swedish men born in 1944, in whom a clinical examination supplemented by medical history aimed to disclose the presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, stroke), type 2 diabetes and hypertension were performed at baseline and at follow-up in the year 2000. In addition, salivary cortisol levels were measured repeatedly over the day. Serum testosterone concentrations were also determined. Using the baseline data, an algorithm was constructed, which classified the secretion pattern of cortisol and testosterone from each individual as being normal or abnormal. RESULTS: By the end of follow-up, men with an abnormal hormone secretion pattern (n = 73) had elevated mean arterial pressure (P = 0.003), fasting insulin (P = 0.009) and insulin : glucose ratio (P = 0.005) compared with men with a normal secretion pattern (n = 68). Body mass index, waist circumference, and waist : hip ratio were significantly elevated in both groups. However, the 5-year incidence of CVD, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension were significantly higher (P
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Leptin, an important hormone for body weight regulation, may be involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular manifestations of obesity. We tested whether leptin may be an independent risk marker for stroke in a case-referent study. METHODS: Definitive acute stroke events, defined by MONICA criteria, were identified from October 1, 1995 to April 30, 1999. Referents without known cardiovascular disease were randomly selected from a population census. Patient characteristics were taken from hospital files and leptin was analyzed in stored samples. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine possible differences in leptin levels between groups. RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-seven cases with ischemic stroke and 69 cases with hemorrhagic stroke were identified. In comparison with referents, male patients with stroke had significantly higher leptin levels. Both male and female stroke patients had increased blood pressure compared with the referents. In multivariate analyses, high leptin levels were associated with both ischemic (OR = 4.89; 95% CI: 1.89-12.62) and hemorrhagic (OR = 3.86; 95% CI: 1.13-13.16) stroke in men, and with ischemic stroke in women (OR = 4.10; 95% CI: 1.45-11.62). The combination of high leptin levels and increased blood pressure (systolic or diastolic) was associated with a strong positive interaction in males with hemorrhagic stroke. CONCLUSION: Leptin may be an important link for the development of cerebrovascular disease in the insulin resistance syndrome in men.