Adrenal secretion and major depression in 8- to 16-year-olds, II. Influence of co-morbidity at presentation

Psychol Med. 1996 Mar;26(2):257-63. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700034656.


The association between high evening cortisol and low morning DHEA and the pattern of co-morbid diagnoses in 82 cases of major depressive disorder in 8- to 16-year-olds has been analysed. There was a significant association between the presence of high evening cortisol and co-morbid dysthymia. This was independent of age or sex. No positive association was found between the presence of low morning DHEA and any co-morbid diagnosis. However, co-morbid panic or phobic disorder was significantly associated with the absence of this endocrine abnormality. These findings suggest that specific endocrine disturbances may be associated with different patterns of co-morbidity during an episode of major depression in this age group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Glands / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / physiopathology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / metabolism*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reference Values
  • Saliva / metabolism


  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Hydrocortisone