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Low Levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate in Younger Burnout Patients
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Epidemiologi)
2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 10, e0140054Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-s) is an anabolic protective hormone of importance for maintenance of health. DHEA-s levels peak in young adults and decline thereafter with age. DHEA-s has previously been shown to be lower in individuals reporting prolonged stress. This study investigates DHEA-s levels in patients with clinical burnout, a disorder caused by long-term psychosocial stress.

METHODS: 122 patients (51% men) and 47 controls (51% men) in the age 25-54 years were included in the study. DHEA-s levels were compared between patients and controls in the whole sample and within each of the three 10-year-interval age groups.

RESULTS: In the youngest age group (25-34 years), DHEA-s levels were on average 25% lower in the patients (p = 0.006). The differences in DHEA-s levels between patients and controls were more pronounced among female than male participants (on average 32% and 13% lower, respectively). There were no differences in DHEA-s levels between patients and controls in the age group 35-44 years (p = 0.927) or 45-54 years (p = 0.897) or when analyzing all age groups together (p = 0.187).

CONCLUSION: The study indicates that levels of the health promoting "youth" hormone DHEA-s are low in younger burnout patients. The fact that younger adults have much higher DHEA-s levels and more pronounced inter-subject variability in DHEA-s levels than older individuals might explain why burnout status differentiates patients from controls only among the youngest patients included in this study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 10, e0140054
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122225DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140054ISI: 000362510300094PubMedID: 26441131Local ID: P-3274OAI: diva2:865550
Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Theorell, Töres
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