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Age and gender effects on the diagnostic power of the DST

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English

<2268/260777>

Abstract

Among 365 major and 158 minor depressive impatients, the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) yielded an overall diagnostic sensitivity of 50%, a specificity of 85%, and a confidence level of 88%. Age was significantly correlated with the post-dexamethasone cortisol levels in the whole sample (r = 0.11; P < 0.01); however, this low relationship disappeared when all subgroups defined by gender or diagnostic were considered. Gender did not appear to influence DST results; however, among the patients between 30 and 39 years, the diagnostic performance of the DST was significantly lower among female as compared to male patients, suggesting possible interferences with endocrine variables. © 1987.

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