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Some determinants of population variation in cortisol levels in a British urban community

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2008

Tessa Pollard
Institute of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford
Giles Ungpakorn
Institute of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford
G. Ainsworth Harrison
Institute of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford


Urinary cortisol excretion rates were determined from three urine samples given over 2 days, a rest day and a working day, by 51 men and 50 women. Each subject also completed a questionnaire relating to life style factors and to perceived levels of stress, busyness and happiness on each day. In men, an association between raised cortisol and high levels of stress was found. In women, high levels of busyness were associated with low cortisol excretion rates. The subjective experiences measured accounted for around 10–20% of cortisol variation in this naturalistic setting.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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