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Morning cortisol and self-reported depression symptoms to predict risk of major depressive disorder in adolescent males

Measuring morning salivary cortisol levels in conjunction with self-reported depression symptoms could help identify adolescent males at risk of depression. In two cohorts-a total of 1,858 adolescent individuals-bioinformatics analysis identified a subset of individuals, comprising 17% of the total, that had high cortisol and reported depression symptoms. Males with both factors had a significantly higher risk of developing major depressive disorder than males or females with only one or neither of the risk factors or females with both risk factors. Next steps could include studying the association in additional cohorts.

SciBX 7(12); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.359
Published online March 27, 2014

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Owens, M. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Feb. 17, 2014;
Contact: Ian Goodyer, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.