Relationship between hair cortisol concentrations and depressive symptoms in patients with coronary artery disease
Yekta Dowlati1,3, Nathan Herrmann2,3, Walter Swardfager1,3, Steven Thomson4, Paul I Oh3,5, Stan Van Uum4, Gideon Koren1,4, Krista L Lanctôt1,2,3,5
1Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and 2Psychiatry, University of Toronto; 3Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 4Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario; 5Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Ontario, Canada
Objective: Concentrations of cortisol in hair, a novel marker of longer-term cortisol status, were compared in depressed versus nondepressed patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: 20 mg hair samples of 3 cm length were collected from 121 patients attending a cardiac rehabilitation program, 34 of whom suffered from depressive symptoms.
Results: Controlling for age, gender, coronary artery bypass grafting, history of depression, and time since most recent acute coronary syndrome, cortisol concentrations (P = 0.162) did not predict severity of depression. Younger age (P = 0.003) was a significant predictor of depressive symptoms. Perceived stress was not associated with long-term cortisol concentrations (P = 0.161).
Conclusions: Cortisol concentrations in hair do not predict depressive symptoms in CAD patients attending cardiac rehabilitation.
Keywords: cortisol, depression, hair, coronary artery disease
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