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Front Psychiatry. 2015 May 4;6:61. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00061. eCollection 2015.

Serum testosterone levels and symptom-based depression subtypes in men.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry , Zurich , Switzerland.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Zurich , Zurich , Switzerland ; Department of Psychology, University of Bern , Bern , Switzerland.
3
Department of Applied Psychology, Zurich University of Applied Sciences , Zurich , Switzerland.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry , Zurich , Switzerland ; Collegium Helveticum, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University of Zurich , Zurich , Switzerland ; Laboratory of Neuroscience (LIM27), Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.

Abstract

The main objective of this preliminary study was to further clarify the association between testosterone (T) levels and depression by investigating symptom-based depression subtypes in a sample of 64 men. The data were taken from the ZInEP epidemiology survey. Gonadal hormones of a melancholic (n  = 25) and an atypical (n = 14) depression subtype, derived from latent class analysis, were compared with those of healthy controls (n  = 18). Serum T was assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay procedure. Analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, non-parametrical tests, and generalized linear regression models were performed to examine group differences. The atypical depressive subtype showed significantly lower T levels compared with the melancholic depressives. While accumulative evidence indicates that, beyond psychosocial characteristics, the melancholic and atypical depressive subtypes are also distinguishable by biological correlates, the current study expanded this knowledge to include gonadal hormones. Further longitudinal research is warranted to disclose causality by linking the multiple processes in pathogenesis of depression.

KEYWORDS:

cross-sectional study; depression; epidemiology; subtypes; testosterone

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