The British Journal of Psychiatry


Studies of testosterone levels in patients with major depressive illness have produced varying results, plasma levels usually being reported. Saliva levels reflect 'free' plasma testosterone, and a pilot study of 11 men with major depression with melancholia, who underwent a standard dexamethasone suppression test, is described. There were no significant differences in testosterone levels compared with an age-matched control group. In the patient group, pre-dexamethasone levels correlated significantly and negatively with depression ratings on the 21-item Hamilton and the Montgomery and Asberg depression scales, and also with state anxiety measured on the Spielberger scale.