Cardiovascular consequences of cortisol excess.

Judith A. Whitworth*, Paula M. Williamson, George Mangos, John J. Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    280 Citations (Scopus)


    Cushing's syndrome is a consequence of primary or, more commonly, secondary oversecretion of cortisol. Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in Cushing's syndrome, and excess risk remains even in effectively treated patients. The cardiovascular consequences of cortisol excess are protean and include, inter alia, elevation of blood pressure, truncal obesity, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. This review analyses the relationship of cortisol excess, both locally and at tissue level, to these cardiovascular risk factors, and to putative mechanisms for hypertension. Previous studies have examined correlations between cortisol, blood pressure, and other parameters in the general population and in Cushing's syndrome. This review also details changes induced by short-term cortisol administration in normotensive healthy men.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)291-299
    Number of pages9
    JournalVascular Health and Risk Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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