Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Mar;17(4):257-64. Epub 2006 Nov 14.

State and trait related predictors of serum cortisol to DHEA(S) molar ratios and hormone concentrations in schizophrenia patients.

Author information

  • 1Sha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center, Mobile Post Hefer 38814, Israel; The Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel.



In previous studies we have demonstrated high serum molar ratios of cortisol to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester (DHEAS) [together abbreviated DHEA(S)], and the value of both cortisol/DHEA(S) molar ratios for prediction of responsivity to antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients. The present study aimed to examine the contribution of anxiety, and severity of symptoms to the prediction of serum cortisol, DHEA(S) levels and two molar ratios across three examinations.


Serum concentrations of cortisol and DHEA(S)were examined in 43 schizophrenia inpatients and in 20 age matched healthy controls at baseline, and after 2 and 4 weeks. The Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scores were used as independent variables for multiple regression analysis.


Despite clinical improvement during the study period cortisol/DHEA(S) molar ratios were found persistently elevated as compared to healthy controls. Multiple regression analysis revealed that across three examinations cortisol/DHEA(S) molar ratios negatively associated with trait-anxiety (partial R(2)=7-14%) rather than with negative symptoms (partial R(2)=3-6%). Age and age of onset account for 12.7% for variability of cortisol/DHEAS ratio. Serum cortisol concentrations are predicted by trait and state-anxiety, activation symptoms and daily doses of antipsychotics. A small portion of variability in serum DHEA levels (R(2)=9%) is associated with symptom severity, while DHEAS levels were predicted by age at examination and age of onset.


Elevated serum cortisol/DHEA(S) molar ratios were attributed to trait-anxiety and age rather than to clinical symptoms. The findings may indicate persistent dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that is independent of the patients' clinical state.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk