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

Michael Wirth, James Burch, John Violanti, Cecil Burchfiel, Desta Fekedulegn, Michael Andrew, Hongmei Zhang, Diane B. Miller, Shawn D. Youngstedt, James R. Hébert, John E. Vena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


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 (AUC1) 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 AUC G 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroendocrinology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian
  • Cortisol
  • Police
  • Shiftwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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