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Psychiatry Res. 1990 Jan;31(1):31-7.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation among diabetic outpatients.

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National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD.


We compared insulin-requiring diabetic outpatients (n = 49) with normal controls (n = 42) for indices of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Diabetic patients showed significantly elevated 9 a.m. plasma levels of cortisol as well as significantly elevated plasma levels of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) at both 4 p.m. before and 4 p.m. after dexamethasone. Also, there was a significant correlation between postdexamethasone plasma levels of ACTH and duration of diabetes. These results suggest that HPA-axis dysregulation is found among diabetic outpatients. The possible psychiatric implications are discussed.

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