Hypercortisolaemia and dyslipidaemia in a selected diabetic population
Background: Type II DM and obesity are metabolic disorders characterized by insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, and metabolic stress. These features were assessed in patients using fasting plasma glucose, fasting lipid profile and serum cortisol as their markers.
Materials and methods: Ninety participants were recruited and classified into 3 groups of thirty each – Obese with type II DM, Non-obese with type II DM, non-obese and non-diabetics who served as controls. Anthropometric measures of weight and height were taken using standard procedures and body mass index was calculated thereafter. Blood samples were collected after an overnight fast for the in vitro assay of serum cortisol, plasma glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and colorimetry as appropriate. Data obtained were analyzed statistically using ANOVA and post hoc test for comparison of variables between groups. Pearson’s correlation was performed to assess the relationship between variables and p<0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Serum cortisol, plasma glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol were elevated while HDL-cholesterol was reduced in both obese and non-obese subjects with type II diabetes mellitus when compared with controls. Cortisol had a significant positive association with plasma glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in obese subjects with type II diabetes mellitus while cortisol had a significant inverse relationship with HDL-cholesterol in both obese and non-obese subjects with type II diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: From this study, we conclude that elevated serum cortisol, a consequence of type II DM, accompanies dyslipidaemia in both obese and non-obese type II DM patients. It could therefore be inferred that ‘diabetic stress’ is the underlying factor of elevated cortisol in this group.
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