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Serum Testosterone Concentration in Combat-Related Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Karlović D.a · Serretti A.b · Marčinko D.a · Martinac M.a · Silić A.a · Katinić K.a
aDepartment of Psychiatry, ‘Sestre milosrdnice’ University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia; bInstitute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy Neuropsychobiology 2012;65:90–95 (DOI:10.1159/000329556)


Aim: The primary aim of this study was to assess the testosterone levels of soldiers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), without considering their comorbid conditions, compared with the ones in the control group with combat experience. The secondary aim was to determine whether there was a difference in testosterone levels when the same group of soldiers with PTSD was divided according to their comorbid conditions into those with major depressive disorder (MDD) or alcohol dependence (ETOH) compared to the soldiers with PTSD with no comorbid conditions and the controls. Methods: We analyzed serum testosterone in soldiers with PTSD without the division according to comorbid conditions (n = 66) in comparison to the controls (n = 34). We also analyzed testosterone in pure PTSD (n = 17), PTSD comorbid with MDD (n = 18), PTSD comorbid with ETOH (n = 31), and in the controls. Results: Soldiers with PTSD, without considering comorbid conditions, did not show any difference in testosterone levels in comparison to the controls. However, when we divided the same PTSD sample based on comorbid conditions, pure PTSD showed significantly higher serum testosterone levels in comparison to PTSD comorbid with MDD, comorbid with ETOH, or controls. Also, there was no difference in testosterone levels between the PTSD groups with comorbid MDD, with comorbid ETOH, and the controls. Conclusions: We did not find any differences in testosterone levels between the soldiers with PTSD without considering comorbid conditions and the controls. Considering comorbid conditions, soldiers with PTSD without comorbid conditions had higher testosterone levels compared to soldiers with PTSD with comorbid MDD or ETOH, or the controls.


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