Seasonal variation in cortisol biomarkers in Hispanic mothers living in an agricultural region

Context: Characterization of stress exposure requires understanding seasonal variability in stress biomarkers.

Objective: To compare acute and chronic stress biomarkers between two seasons in a cohort of rural, Hispanic mothers.

Methods: Stress questionnaires and cortisol measurements (hair, blood and saliva) were collected in the summer and fall.

Results: Cortisol biomarkers were significantly different and stress questionnaires were significantly correlated between seasons.

Discussion: The variability in cortisol and relative stability of questionnaires between seasons may indicate that cortisol responds to subtle stressors not addressed in questionnaires.

Conclusions: There are significant differences in stress biomarkers in our cohort between seasons.