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Relationship between hair cortisol concentrations and depressive symptoms in patients with coronary artery disease

Authors Dowlati Y, Herrmann N, Swardfager W, Thomson S, Oh PI, Van Uum S, Koren G, Lanctôt KL 

Published 24 June 2010 Volume 2010:6(1) Pages 393—400


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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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