Hair cortisol concentration differs across site and person: Localisation and consistency of responses to a brief pain stressor

C. F. Sharpley*, K. G. Kauter, James R. McFarlane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Although in vitro studies have shown that cortisol concentrations in human and animal hair respond to environmental stressors, few data have been reported regarding the in vivo variability of hair cortisol to brief pain stressors. As an extension of a previous study, hair was collected and assayed for cortisol concentrations from each of three sites (elbow, mid-forearm, wrist) before and after participants immersed their hand in ice water for 1 min. Results showed that the "localization" boundary of hair cortisol responses previously reported was able to be reduced to only 250 mm between sites. Furthermore, all participants showed considerable variability in hair cortisol across the three sites at each collection period, although consistency across participants in overall responsivity of hair cortisol to the pain stressor was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-983
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiological Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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