INTRODUCTION: Alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and of its peripheral indices have been reported in both normal and pathological anxiety with controversial findings. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible correlations between serum cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) levels and DHEA-S/cortisol ratio, and panic-agoraphobic spectrum dimensions in a sample of healthy subjects. METHODS: Forty-two healthy subjects of both sexes, with no current or lifetime psychiatric disorders, were assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I/P) and the so-called Panic Agoraphobic Spectrum-Self Report lifetime version (PAS-SR). RESULTS: Significant, negative correlations were found between cortisol levels and the total score of the separation sensitivity, panic-like symptoms, and medication/substance sensitivity PAS-SR domains. The PAS-SR total and the panic-like symptoms domain scores were positively related to the DHEAS/cortisol ratio. When the sample was divided in women and men, these correlations were present in women only. DISCUSSION: These findings, while indicating the presence of significant relationships between panic-agoraphobic traits and some indices of HPA axis functioning in healthy women, would suggest this as one of the factors explaining the greater vulnerability of women to cross the line between normal and pathological anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are needed to explore gender differences in the relationships between HPA axis alterations and the panic-agoraphobic spectrum dimensions.

Gender effect on the relationship between stress hormones and panic-agoraphobic spectrum dimensions in healthy subjects.

DELL'OSSO, LILIANA;Marazziti D;DA POZZO, ELEONORA;MASSIMETTI, GABRIELE;MARTINI, CLAUDIA;CARMASSI, CLAUDIA
2012

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and of its peripheral indices have been reported in both normal and pathological anxiety with controversial findings. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible correlations between serum cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) levels and DHEA-S/cortisol ratio, and panic-agoraphobic spectrum dimensions in a sample of healthy subjects. METHODS: Forty-two healthy subjects of both sexes, with no current or lifetime psychiatric disorders, were assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I/P) and the so-called Panic Agoraphobic Spectrum-Self Report lifetime version (PAS-SR). RESULTS: Significant, negative correlations were found between cortisol levels and the total score of the separation sensitivity, panic-like symptoms, and medication/substance sensitivity PAS-SR domains. The PAS-SR total and the panic-like symptoms domain scores were positively related to the DHEAS/cortisol ratio. When the sample was divided in women and men, these correlations were present in women only. DISCUSSION: These findings, while indicating the presence of significant relationships between panic-agoraphobic traits and some indices of HPA axis functioning in healthy women, would suggest this as one of the factors explaining the greater vulnerability of women to cross the line between normal and pathological anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are needed to explore gender differences in the relationships between HPA axis alterations and the panic-agoraphobic spectrum dimensions.
Dell'Osso, Liliana; Marazziti, D; DA POZZO, Eleonora; Conversano, C; Baroni, S; Massimetti, Gabriele; Martini, Claudia; Carmassi, Claudia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/199737
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