Cumulative Load of Depressive Symptoms Is Associated With Cortisol Awakening Response in Very Old Age

Helena Chui, Christiane A. Hoppmann, Denis Gerstorf, Ruth Walker, Mary A. Luszcz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


This study examined links of cumulative and present depressive symptoms with present cortisol diurnal profiles in oldest-old adults. Five waves of data from 50 older adults (M age = 89.05 years; 64% women) who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing were used to combine 15 years of longitudinal data with seven cortisol samples per day over a one-week period. Findings revealed that individuals with more past depressive symptoms showed a lower cortisol awakening response (CAR). Interestingly, present depressive symptoms were not associated with the CAR. These findings inform our understanding of distal health factors in very old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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