Publication

Salivary cortisol levels and the 2-year course of depressive and anxiety disorders

Vreeburg, S. A., Hoogendijk, W. J. G., DeRijk, R. H., van Dyck, R., Smit, J. H., Zitman, F. G. & Penninx, B., Sep-2013, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 38, 9, p. 1494-1502 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Sophie A. Vreeburg
  • Witte J. G. Hoogendijk
  • Roel H. DeRijk
  • Richard van Dyck
  • Johannes H. Smit
  • Frans G. Zitman
  • Brenda Penninx

Introduction: Depression and anxiety disorders have been associated with hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. However, lower cortisol levels have also been observed in depressed patients. Whether cortisol level predicts the course of these disorders has not been examined in detail. We examined whether salivary cortisol indicators predict the 2-year course of depression and anxiety disorders.

Methods: Longitudinal data are obtained from 837 participants of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, with a DSM-IV based depressive and/or anxiety disorder at baseline. At baseline, seven saliva samples were obtained, including the 1-h cortisol awakening response, evening cortisol level and a 0.5 mg dexamethasone suppression test. At follow-up, DSM-IV based diagnostic interviews and Life Chart Interview integrating diagnostic and symptom trajectories over 2 years were administered to determine an unfavorable course.

Results: 41.5% of the respondents had a 2-year unfavorable course trajectory without remission longer than 3 months. Adjusted analyses showed that a tower awakening response was associated with an unfavorable course (RR = 0.83, p = 0.03). No associations were found between evening cortisol or cortisol suppression after dexamethasone ingestion and an unfavorable course trajectory.

Conclusions: Among patients with depressive or anxiety disorders, a lower cortisol awakening response - which may be indicative of underlying exhaustion of the HPA axis predicted an unfavorable course trajectory. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1502
Number of pages9
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume38
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2013

    Keywords

  • HPA axis, Salivary cortisol, Depressive disorder, Anxiety disorder, Course, PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS, UNDER-THE-CURVE, MAJOR DEPRESSION, AWAKENING RESPONSE, PANIC DISORDER, HPA-AXIS, HIPPOCAMPAL VOLUME, GENERAL-POPULATION, CHRONIC STRESS, HORMONE TEST

ID: 5967059