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Salivary cortisol increases after bariatric surgery in women. Horm Metab Res 2011 Jul;43(8):587-90



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-79960554110   7 Citations


Cortisol increases have been associated with psychological and physiological stress; however, cortisol dynamics after weight loss (bariatric) surgery have not been defined. Obese participants not using exogenous glucocorticoids were eligible to participate. Female participants (n=24) provided salivary cortisol samples at bedtime, upon awakening the following morning, and 30 min after awakening before, and at 6 or 12 months after bariatric surgery. The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 version 2 questionnaire regarding health-related quality of life was also completed. Preoperatively, mean body mass index was 45.1±8.1 kg/m2. Mean late night (1.8±1.1 nmol/l), awakening (10.7±7.4 nmol/l), and after-awakening (11.5±7.9 nmol/l) salivary cortisol values were within normal ranges. The cortisol awakening response (mean 21.1±79.7%, median 13.7%) was at the low end of normal. Preoperatively, participants had lower mental and physical health-related quality of life scores than US adult norms (p<0.001). Salivary cortisol was not correlated with measures of health-related quality of life. Mean BMI decreased over time (p<0.001) and participants experienced improved physical and mental health-related quality of life (p≤0.011). Postoperative late night salivary cortisol was not different from preoperative values. Awakening and after-awakening cortisol levels were higher than preoperative values (15.3±7.7 nmol/l, p=0.013; 17.5±10.2 nmol/l, p=0.005; respectively), but the cortisol awakening response was not changed (mean 26.7±66.2%; median 7.8%). Morning salivary cortisol increased at long-term follow-up after bariatric surgery. Although self-evaluated mental and physical health improved after surgery, the cortisol awakening response is at the low end of normal, which may indicate continued physiological stress.

Author List

Valentine AR, Raff H, Liu H, Ballesteros M, Rose JM, Jossart GH, Cirangle P, Bravata DM


Hershel Raff PhD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bariatric Surgery
Middle Aged
Postoperative Care
Preoperative Care
jenkins-FCD Prod-484 8aa07fc50b7f6d102f3dda2f4c7056ff84294d1d