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Cortisol: Stress hormone linked to frailty

Lower morning and higher evening cortisol levels contribute to frailty in older individuals, according to new research. Frailty confers a high risk for institutionalization and increased risk of mortality and is characterized by unintentional weight loss, feelings of exhaustion and fatigue, physical inactivity, slow gait speed and low grip strength. Neuroendocrine function, including cortisol secretion, is thought to be involved in the etiology of frailty, but until now the underlying biological mechanisms have not been well understood.
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