State variation in the cortisol awakening response

Law, Robin, Hucklebridge, Frank, Thorn, Lisa, Evans, Philip D. and Clow, Angela (2013) State variation in the cortisol awakening response. Stress, 16 (5). pp. 483-492. ISSN 1025-3890

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The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a much studied but poorly understood aspect of the circadian pattern of cortisol secretion. A Scopus search of "cortisol" and "awakening" reveals 666 publications in this area since 1997 when it was first identified by Pruessner and colleagues as a "reliable biomarker of adrenocortical activity". The primary focus of the majority of these studies is centered on its utility as a biomarker associated with a range of psychosocial, physical and mental health variables. Such studies typically examine differences in the CAR (studied on 1 or 2 days) between healthy participants and other comparator groups of interest. Fewer studies (25 in our estimation) have examined correlates of day-to-day variation in the CAR in healthy participants, informing its role and regulation within the healthy circadian pattern of cortisol secretion. This is the first review to examine these studies which, although limited in number, offer a relatively coherent emerging story about state factors that influence the CAR and the impact of the CAR on daily functioning. Greater understanding of these issues helps illuminate the utility of the CAR as a promising biomarker in psychophysiological and epidemiological research. The review also highlights areas that require greater clarification and points to potentially fruitful areas of further research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Awakening, CAR, Cortisol, Saliva, State variation, Trait variation
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Wheelhouse
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2014 13:39
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 13:39

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