In adults with obesity, copeptin is linked with BMI but is not associated with long-term exposure to cortisol and cortisone

E.S. Van der Valk, B. Van der Voorn, A.M. Iyer, S.A.A. Van den Berg, M. Savas, Y.B. De Rijke, E.L.T. Van den Akker, O. Melander, E.F.C. Van Rossum

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2020 European Society of Endocrinology.Context: Obesity and cardiometabolic diseases are associated with highe r long-term glucocorticoid levels, measured as scalp hair cortisol (HairF) and cortisone (HairE). Cardiometabo lic diseases have also been associated with copeptin, a stable surrogate marker for the arginine-vasopressin (AVP) syst em. Since AVP is, together with corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) an important regulator of the hypothalamic-pituit ary adrenal axis (HPA axis), we hypothesize that AVP contributes to chronic hypercortisolism in obesity. Objective: To investigate whether copeptin levels are associated with Hig her HairF and HairE levels in obesity. Design: A cross-sectional study in 51 adults with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Methods: Associations and interactions between copeptin, HairF, HairE, and cardiometabolic parameters were cross-sectionally analyzed. Results: Copeptin was strongly associated with BMI and waist circumfere nce (WC) (rho = 0.364 and 0.530, P = 0.008 and <0.001, respectively), also after correction for confounders. Th ere were no associations between copeptin and HairF or HairE on a continuous or dichotomized scale, despite correction for confounders. Conclusion: In patients with obesity, AVP seems not a major contributor to the frequently observed high cortisol levels. Other factors which stimulate the HPA axis or affect cortisol sy nthesis or breakdown may be more important than the influence of AVP on long-term glucocorticoid levels in obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


The study was supported by a grant of the Elisabeth Foundation. E F C v R is funded by a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research NWO (grant number: 91716453).

FundersFunder number
Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research NWO91716453
Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation


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