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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Oct;182(1):54-7. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Increased salivary cortisol after waking in depression.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7JX, UK. zubin.bhagwagar@psych.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Cortisol hypersecretion is regarded as important in the pathophysiology of major depression. However, recent studies in community-based samples have been inconclusive.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether acutely depressed, medication-free subjects show an exaggerated release of cortisol in saliva in relation to awakening.

METHODS:

We studied the pattern of waking salivary cortisol in 20 unmedicated acutely depressed subjects and 40 healthy controls.

RESULTS:

In both groups, salivary cortisol increased rapidly after waking, peaking at 30 min. Overall, patients with acute depression secreted approximately 25% more cortisol than controls, though 60 min after waking, their cortisol levels were similar.

CONCLUSIONS:

Depressed patients in the community appear to have increased early morning cortisol secretion, but the demonstration of this effect requires control for time of waking.

PMID:
15991000
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-005-0062-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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