Association of the Period3 clock gene length polymorphism with salivary cortisol secretion among police officers.

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated whether measures of waking or diurnal cortisol secretion, or self-reported psychological disturbances differed among police officers with a Period3 (PER3) clock gene length polymorphism.

METHODS: The cortisol awakening response was characterized via the area under the salivary cortisol curve with respect to the increase (AUCI) or total waking cortisol (AUCG). Diurnal cortisol measures included the slope of diurnal cortisol and the diurnal AUCG. Psychological disturbances were characterized using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Impact of Events Scale, and Life Events Scale.

RESULTS: Officers with a 4/5 or 5/5 genotype had higher awakening AUCG and greater diurnal cortisol AUCG levels compared to officers with the 4/4 genotype. Among those working more afternoon or night shifts, waking AUCI and AUCG were greater among officers with a 4/5 or 5/5 genotype compared to the 4/4 referents.

CONCLUSION: Cortisol secretion was modified among police officers with different PER3 VNTR clock gene variants.

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