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The relationship between alexithymia and salivary cortisol levels in somatoform disorders.
Nord J Psychiatry. 2008; 62(5):366-73.NJ

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate cortisol levels as a function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) in relation to alexithymia in patients with somatoform disorders (SFD). Diurnal salivary cortisol was sampled in 32 patients with SFD who also underwent a psychiatric examination and filled in questionnaires (Toronto Alexithymia Scale, TAS scale; Screening for Somatoform Symptoms, SOMS scale; Hamilton Depression Scale, HAMD). The mean TAS total score in the sample was 55.6+/-9.6, 32% of patients being classified as alexithymic on the basis of their TAS scores. Depression scores were moderate (HAMD=13.2, Beck Depression Inventory, BDI=16.5). The patients' alexithymia scores (TAS scale "Difficulty identifying feelings") correlated significantly positively with their somatization scale scores (Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, SCL-90-R); r=0.3438 (P<0.05) and their scores on the Global Severity Index (GSI) on the SCL-90-R; r=0.781 (P<0.01). Regression analysis was performed with cortisol variables as the dependent variables. Cortisol levels [measured by the area under the curve-ground (AUC-G), area under the curve-increase (AUC-I) and morning cortisol (MCS)] were best predicted in a multiple linear regression model by lower depressive scores (HAMD) and more psychopathological symptoms (SCL-90-R). No significant correlations were found between the patients' alexithymia scores (TAS) and cortisol levels. The healthy control group (n=25) demonstrated significantly higher cortisol levels than did the patients with SFD; in both tests P<0.001 for AUC-G and AUC-I. However, the two groups did not differ in terms of their mean morning cortisol levels (P>0.05). The results suggest that pre-existing hypocortisolism might possibly be associated with SFD.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Psychosomatic Out-Patient-Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. Francisco.Pedrosa.Gil@med.uni-muenchen.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18752108

Citation

Pedrosa Gil, Francisco, et al. "The Relationship Between Alexithymia and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Somatoform Disorders." Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 62, no. 5, 2008, pp. 366-73.
Pedrosa Gil F, Bidlingmaier M, Ridout N, et al. The relationship between alexithymia and salivary cortisol levels in somatoform disorders. Nord J Psychiatry. 2008;62(5):366-73.
Pedrosa Gil, F., Bidlingmaier, M., Ridout, N., Scheidt, C. E., Caton, S., Schoechlin, C., & Nickel, M. (2008). The relationship between alexithymia and salivary cortisol levels in somatoform disorders. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 62(5), 366-73. https://doi.org/10.1080/08039480801983554
Pedrosa Gil F, et al. The Relationship Between Alexithymia and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Somatoform Disorders. Nord J Psychiatry. 2008;62(5):366-73. PubMed PMID: 18752108.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The relationship between alexithymia and salivary cortisol levels in somatoform disorders. AU - Pedrosa Gil,Francisco, AU - Bidlingmaier,Martin, AU - Ridout,Nathan, AU - Scheidt,Carl Eduard, AU - Caton,Samantha, AU - Schoechlin,Claudia, AU - Nickel,Marius, PY - 2008/8/30/pubmed PY - 2009/2/3/medline PY - 2008/8/30/entrez SP - 366 EP - 73 JF - Nordic journal of psychiatry JO - Nord J Psychiatry VL - 62 IS - 5 N2 - The purpose of this study was to investigate cortisol levels as a function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) in relation to alexithymia in patients with somatoform disorders (SFD). Diurnal salivary cortisol was sampled in 32 patients with SFD who also underwent a psychiatric examination and filled in questionnaires (Toronto Alexithymia Scale, TAS scale; Screening for Somatoform Symptoms, SOMS scale; Hamilton Depression Scale, HAMD). The mean TAS total score in the sample was 55.6+/-9.6, 32% of patients being classified as alexithymic on the basis of their TAS scores. Depression scores were moderate (HAMD=13.2, Beck Depression Inventory, BDI=16.5). The patients' alexithymia scores (TAS scale "Difficulty identifying feelings") correlated significantly positively with their somatization scale scores (Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, SCL-90-R); r=0.3438 (P<0.05) and their scores on the Global Severity Index (GSI) on the SCL-90-R; r=0.781 (P<0.01). Regression analysis was performed with cortisol variables as the dependent variables. Cortisol levels [measured by the area under the curve-ground (AUC-G), area under the curve-increase (AUC-I) and morning cortisol (MCS)] were best predicted in a multiple linear regression model by lower depressive scores (HAMD) and more psychopathological symptoms (SCL-90-R). No significant correlations were found between the patients' alexithymia scores (TAS) and cortisol levels. The healthy control group (n=25) demonstrated significantly higher cortisol levels than did the patients with SFD; in both tests P<0.001 for AUC-G and AUC-I. However, the two groups did not differ in terms of their mean morning cortisol levels (P>0.05). The results suggest that pre-existing hypocortisolism might possibly be associated with SFD. SN - 1502-4725 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18752108/The_relationship_between_alexithymia_and_salivary_cortisol_levels_in_somatoform_disorders_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08039480801983554 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -