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Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 340342, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/340342
Research Article

Higher Cortisol Predicts Less Improvement in Verbal Memory Performance after Cardiac Rehabilitation in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

1Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
2Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8
4Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, 345 Rumsey Road, Toronto, ON, Canada M4G 1R7
5Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
6Neuropsychology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5
7Motherisk Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8
8Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, St. Joseph's Health Care, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2
9Clinical Epidemiology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5

Received 16 October 2012; Accepted 12 December 2012

Academic Editor: Heimo ViinamaKi

Copyright © 2013 Mahwesh Saleem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. While physical activity can improve verbal memory performance in subjects with coronary artery disease (CAD), there is large variability in response. Elevated cortisol production has been suggested to negatively affect verbal memory performance, yet cortisol concentrations have not been assessed as a predictor of response to exercise intervention in those with CAD. Methods. CAD patients participating in a one-year cardiac rehabilitation program were recruited. Memory was assessed with the California Verbal Learning Test second edition at baseline and one year. Cortisol was measured from a 20 mg, 3.0 cm hair sample collected at baseline. Results. In patients with CAD ( , mean ± SD age =  , 86% male), higher cortisol (hair cortisol concentrations ≥ 153.2 ng/g) significantly predicted less memory improvement ( , ) when controlling for age ( , ), gender ( , ), maximal oxygen uptake ( , ), and body mass index ( , ). Conclusion. Prolonged hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis activation may interfere with exercise-related improvements in memory in CAD.