Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation among diabetic outpatients

Psychiatry Res. 1990 Jan;31(1):31-7. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(90)90106-f.


We compared insulin-requiring diabetic outpatients (n = 49) with normal controls (n = 42) for indices of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Diabetic patients showed significantly elevated 9 a.m. plasma levels of cortisol as well as significantly elevated plasma levels of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) at both 4 p.m. before and 4 p.m. after dexamethasone. Also, there was a significant correlation between postdexamethasone plasma levels of ACTH and duration of diabetes. These results suggest that HPA-axis dysregulation is found among diabetic outpatients. The possible psychiatric implications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood*
  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Dexamethasone*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology*


  • Dexamethasone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone