Abdominal obesity has a key role in the pathogenesis of prevalent and serious diseases and has been shown to be associated with an altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, which is regulated by endocrine feedback mediated via hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors (GR).
We examined the HPA axis function by repeated salivary samples for the assessment of cortisol, as well as other endocrine, anthropometric, metabolic, and circulatory variables in middle-aged Swedish men (n = 284). With the restriction enzyme BclI, variants of the GR gene (GRL) locus were identified and two alleles with fragment lengths of 4.5 and 2.3 kilobases (kb) were detected.
The observed frequencies were 40.1% for the 2.3- and 2.3-kb, 46.2% for the 4.5- and 2.3-kb, and 13.7% for the 4.5- and 4.5-kb genotypes. The larger allele (4.5 and 4.5 kb) was associated with elevated body mass index (BMI; p