Summary: Sex Differences in the Genetic Basis of Morning Serum
Cortisol Levels: Genome-Wide Screen Identifies Two
Novel Loci Specific to Women
Lianne M. Kurina, Lauren A. Weiss, Steven W. Graves, Rodney Parry, Gordon H. Williams, Mark Abney,
and Carole Ober
Departments of Health Studies (L.M.K.), Human Genetics (L.A.W., M.A., C.O.), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (C.O.), The
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (S.W.G.), Brigham Young
University, Provo, Utah 84602; School of Medicine (R.P.), University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105;
and Cardiovascular Endocrinology Section (G.H.W.), Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston,
Context: Relatively little is known about the influence of specific
genes on cortisol levels, particularly morning cortisol levels.
Objective: The objective of this study was to identify quantitative
trait loci associated with morning serum cortisol levels.
Design: We carried out a genome screen for morning serum cortisol
using linkage and association methods tailored for use in large ped-
igrees. We conducted these analyses both in the whole sample and
partitioned by sex.
Setting: This study was conducted on nine communal Hutterite
farms in South Dakota.