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Saliva cortisol in posttraumatic stress disorder: a community epidemiologic study.
Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Aug 01; 56(3):205-9.BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, so it was expected that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be associated with activation of this axis; however, studies have found both increased and decreased cortisol in PTSD. To address this question, we collected saliva cortisol at home in a subsample of a longitudinal epidemiologic sample.

METHODS

Six hundred eighty-four persons randomly selected from the total sample of 913 were requested to collect saliva samples upon awakening and in the early evening. Of these, 538 responded with samples, 516 of whom met inclusion criteria. These were 68 exposed to trauma with lifetime PTSD, 265 exposed to trauma with no PTSD, and 183 never exposed to trauma.

RESULTS

In a comparison of these three groups, lifetime PTSD revealed elevated evening saliva cortisol compared with exposed/no PTSD. When lifetime comorbidity with major depressive disorder (MDD) was included in the analysis, only persons with comorbid PTSD and MDD showed this evening elevation in cortisol. Persons with PTSD alone (never MDD) showed normal saliva cortisol levels, as did subjects with lifetime MDD alone.

CONCLUSIONS

Neither exposure to trauma nor PTSD alone is associated with alterations in saliva cortisol; however, elevated cortisol is found in PTSD comorbid with lifetime MDD.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. eayoung@umich.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15271590

Citation

Young, Elizabeth A., and Naomi Breslau. "Saliva Cortisol in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: a Community Epidemiologic Study." Biological Psychiatry, vol. 56, no. 3, 2004, pp. 205-9.
Young EA, Breslau N. Saliva cortisol in posttraumatic stress disorder: a community epidemiologic study. Biol Psychiatry. 2004;56(3):205-9.
Young, E. A., & Breslau, N. (2004). Saliva cortisol in posttraumatic stress disorder: a community epidemiologic study. Biological Psychiatry, 56(3), 205-9.
Young EA, Breslau N. Saliva Cortisol in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: a Community Epidemiologic Study. Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Aug 1;56(3):205-9. PubMed PMID: 15271590.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Saliva cortisol in posttraumatic stress disorder: a community epidemiologic study. AU - Young,Elizabeth A, AU - Breslau,Naomi, PY - 2003/10/17/received PY - 2004/04/22/revised PY - 2004/05/20/accepted PY - 2004/7/24/pubmed PY - 2004/9/14/medline PY - 2004/7/24/entrez SP - 205 EP - 9 JF - Biological psychiatry JO - Biol Psychiatry VL - 56 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, so it was expected that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be associated with activation of this axis; however, studies have found both increased and decreased cortisol in PTSD. To address this question, we collected saliva cortisol at home in a subsample of a longitudinal epidemiologic sample. METHODS: Six hundred eighty-four persons randomly selected from the total sample of 913 were requested to collect saliva samples upon awakening and in the early evening. Of these, 538 responded with samples, 516 of whom met inclusion criteria. These were 68 exposed to trauma with lifetime PTSD, 265 exposed to trauma with no PTSD, and 183 never exposed to trauma. RESULTS: In a comparison of these three groups, lifetime PTSD revealed elevated evening saliva cortisol compared with exposed/no PTSD. When lifetime comorbidity with major depressive disorder (MDD) was included in the analysis, only persons with comorbid PTSD and MDD showed this evening elevation in cortisol. Persons with PTSD alone (never MDD) showed normal saliva cortisol levels, as did subjects with lifetime MDD alone. CONCLUSIONS: Neither exposure to trauma nor PTSD alone is associated with alterations in saliva cortisol; however, elevated cortisol is found in PTSD comorbid with lifetime MDD. SN - 0006-3223 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15271590/Saliva_cortisol_in_posttraumatic_stress_disorder:_a_community_epidemiologic_study_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006322304005621 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -