Physiologic and Endocrine Correlates of Overweight and Obesity in African Americans and Caucasians
Annual rept. 1 Mar 2003-29 Feb 2004
HENRY M JACKSON FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MILITARY MEDICINE ROCKVILLEMD
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Obesity has reached epidemic levels and yet the incidence continues to rise. The current study is seeking to examine the hypothesis that obesity may reflect dysfunctioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal HPA axis in response to stressors. African American persons are at greatest risk, but reasons for this difference are unknown. We will study 120 men and women of Caucasian and African American ethnicity and examine their responses to physiologic stressors exercise and ingestion of a meal. Methods The HPA axis will be studied in some detail by using two stressor paradigms and two steroid regimens. We expect to be able to detect subtle differences in HPA axis reactivity in obese individuals and that might contribute to morbidity and perhaps even make individuals resistant to therapeutic interventions. Results We have enrolled 21 participants, with 7 completed without seeming difficulty, and data collection is proceeding on schedule. Participants are also completing the exercise stress test, in spite of not being used to exercise, in general. Conclusions We anticipate being able to complete this study as planned without difficulty and look forward to being able to answer the important questions regarding the potential role of the HPA axis in obesity.
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