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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1999 Feb;24(2):209-26.

Normative melatonin excretion: a multinational study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institute, St. Goran's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The present study on overnight urinary melatonin was conducted on the most geographically dispersed population to date, over a 1 year period, also covering a broad age range (18-62 years). An inverse relationship between melatonin and age, as well as between melatonin and weight was observed for both genders. Females as a whole, had higher melatonin values than males. Furthermore, the excretion of melatonin exhibited a bimodal distribution, distinguishing two groups of individuals: low and high melatonin excretors. The cut-off point was set at 0.25 nmol/l for ages up to 40 years and at 0.20 nmol/l for subjects above this age. Since melatonin may be involved in several physiological and pathological processes, it could be of importance to detect the type of melatonin excretion that prevails in various conditions, using a simple noninvasive procedure such as the overnight urinary measurement. For that purpose, this large sample could serve as a worldwide reference databank across different ages and locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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