This review examines the stress hormone cortisol which plays an important role in regulating and supporting different bodily functions. Disruption in cortisol production has an impact on health and this review looks at a wide range of papers where cortisol has been indicated as a factor in numerous chronic conditions—especially those which are classed as “noncommunicable diseases” (NCDs). Timely detection, screening, and treatment for NCDs are vital to address the growing problem of NCDs worldwide—this would have health and socioeconomic benefits. Interestingly, many of the papers highlight the pro-inflammatory consequences of cortisol dysregulation and its deleterious effects on the body. This is particularly relevant given the recent findings concerning COVID-19 where pro-inflammatory cytokines have been implicated in severe inflammation.
- HPA axis
- Noncommunicable disease