Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenocortical Activity in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus

Oliver G. Cameron, Ziad Kronfol, John F. Greden, Bernard J. Carroll

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Several clinical and physiologic associations between depression and diabetes mellitus have been reported. In this study, a potential neuroendocrine association was studied by measuring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity in patients with diabetes mellitus. Plasma cortisol levels and response to dexamethasone administration were determined in 54 diabetics. Twenty-three (55%) of forty-two 1-mg dexamethasone suppression tests (DSTs) performed in 34 subjects, with eight repeated tests, and two (10%) of twenty 2-mg DSTs demonstrated a blunting of normal suppression. None of a variety of potential demographic, physiologic, or mood factors predicted nonsuppression. This study replicates prior findings that HPA dysfunction occurs in association with diabetes, and invalidates the use of the 1-mg DST as a diagnostic marker for melancholia in patients with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1095
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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