ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P892 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P892

An investigation into the relationship between plasma concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, blood pressure and blood glucose levels in diabetic hypersensitive cardiovascular patients

Safir Ullah1, Muhammad Rafi2, Maleeha Akram1, Ali Raza Kazmi3, Fahim Tahir4, Sarwat Jahan5, Kiran Afshan5, Afzaal Ahmed Naseem6, Mazhar Qayyum1 & Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi1,7


1Department of Zoology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 2Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad, Pakistan; 3Aga Khan Health Center, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 4Reproductive Physiology, Public Health Laboratories Division, National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, Pakistan; 5Department of Animal Sciences, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; 6University of Lahore, Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan; 7Department of Zoology, University of Central Punjab, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


Diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM-2) occurs when pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively make use of the insulin produced by the pancreas. Among other factors causing DM-2, stress is increasingly regarded as one of the causative agents that make the blood glucose levels rise, and cause DM-2. It has also been reported that DM-2 may be one of the commonest cause of hypogonadism, a lack of function in the testes, which adversely affects testosterone (T) production. Emerging evidence links insulin resistance, a key feature in DM-2 with decreased Leydig cell’s secretion of T. Low gonadal steroids have been associated with metabolic abnormalities such as hyperglycemia, hypertension and subsequent development of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In contrast, low dose T replacement therapy is associated with improvement of these conditions. In view of the foregoing observations, the present study was designed to determine the effect of stress in terms of release of cortisol on the development of diabetes, the interrelationship between diabetes and reproductive function in terms of release of T and their effect on the development of hypertension and related CVDs. Hundred male diabetic hypertensive cardiovascular patients and hundred age matched controls were selected from different hospitals of Dera Ismail Khan Division, KPK, Pakistan. Plasma concentrations of cortisol and T were analyzed using specific RIA kits. The Student’s t-test, ANOVA and Pearson Correlation r were applied for the interpretation of results. Our results revealed that 68 percent diabetic hypertensive CVD patients had normal cortisol levels, whereas 29 percent had high cortisol concentrations. In addition, 76 percent patients had low T concentrations indicating reproductive dysfunction in these patients. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation between cortisol and T concentrations in all groups. A positive correlation was observed between cortisol and BP and blood glucose levels. On the other hand, there was a negative correlation between plasma T levels and BP and blood glucose levels in all groups. The majority of diabetic hypertensive cardiovascular male patients belonged to age group of 51–60 years. They were illiterate, married, smokers, belonged to the lower middle income socio-economic status, overweight despite performing exercise regularly, had disease duration of 1–5 years, had no family history of hypertension and were treated with combination of RAASi and non-RAASi. In conclusion, our results indicated that most of diabetic hypertensive cardiovascular patients had low T concentrations no matter whether they had normal or high cortisol concentrations.