Morning Saliva Cortisol Predicts Adolescent Tobacco Use, Study Reveals

A recent study has revealed that morning cortisol concentration in the saliva, as a biomarker of stress, is associated with tobacco use in adolescents.

Photo: Tobacco Use in Adolescents | InStyleHealth
Research involved 381 adolescents with ages 13 – 14 years, 52.2% were girls, in whom salivary cortisol was evaluated through an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. None of the participants had a history of tobacco use, and they were followed until tobacco initiation through cigarette smoking, snus use, or either. The period of cigarette use was also being measured.

The participants of the study were then divided into quartiles of saliva cortisol levels and Poisson regression models were utilized to identify its correlation with tobacco usage.

The adjusted models revealed that increasing quartiles of morning cortisol was correlated with a 27% increase in the possibility of reporting any tobacco use within 3 years.

A morning cortisol was also linked to cigarette and snus use. Similar impact of morning cortisol was reported for the period of use of cigarettes, snus, and overall tobacco.

However, afternoon cortisol levels were less consistently correlated with tobacco use findings.

Researchers said that the findings of this study shed light into the biological mechanisms linking stress and tobacco use. Further research should address the possible linkage between life-course negative events, dysregulation of the stress response system, and the onset of tobacco use in animal and epidemiologic studies that simultaneously address the role of genetic and socioenvironmental factors.

For complete details of the clinical research, click here.

 

Source: J Adolesc Health 2021;68:758-764

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