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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 193-199

Cortisol level in depressed patients and its relation with suicidal risk and anhedonia


Psychiatry Department, Kasr El Ainy Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Doaa R Ayoub
Psychiatry Department, Kasr El Ainy Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, 12311
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-1083.202375

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Context In recent times, there has been an increased interest in research related to anhedonia. Nevertheless, its linkage to major depressive disorders and underlying neurobiology are still not well understood. High levels of cortisol are associated with an increased risk for suicide as evidenced by several studies; however, others have not found this association between cortisol levels and suicidality. Aim The aim of this work was to examine whether there is an increased activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in major depressive disorder patients and to detect the presence of an association between the level of cortisol and thoughts of death and anhedonia in at-risk patients with major depressive disorder. Settings and design This case–control study that was conducted on 20 patients with major depressive disorder, diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision, in comparison with 20 controls. Patients and methods All patients were assessed using the Present State Examination 10th revision of the Schedules of Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry, Snaith Hamilton Pleasure Scale, Beck’s Suicidal Ideation Scale, and Beck’s Depressive Inventory. Blood samples were collected to assess plasma cortisol level in the morning and evening. Statistical analysis Statistical calculations were carried out using SPSS, version 15. Results There were increased levels of morning and evening cortisol in major depressive disorder patients. Thoughts of death were positively associated with elevated morning cortisol in depression. Anhedonia was associated with higher evening cortisol level in depressed patients in the studied sample. Conclusion There are relatively increased levels of morning and evening cortisol in major depressive disorder patients in comparison with controls; thoughts of death are positively associated with elevated morning and evening cortisol level.


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