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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X


YAHYAVI, Seyyed Taha; ZARGHAMI, Mehran; NAGHSHVAR, Farshad  and  DANESH, Ahmad. Relationship of cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine levels with war-induced posttraumatic stress disorder in fathers and their offspring. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2015, vol.37, n.2, pp.93-98. ISSN 1809-452X.


To compare afternoon serum/plasma levels of hormones in four groups: (A) veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), (B) offspring of PTSD veterans, (C) veterans without PTSD, and (D) offspring of non-PTSD veterans.


Evaluation consisted of a semi-structured interview for axis I and II diagnoses, followed by measurement of afternoon serum cortisol and plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine by ELISA (Diametra) and LND (LDN Labor Diagnostika Nord GmbH & Co. KG) respectively. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Student t, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, and nonparametric Mann-Whitney tests.


One hundred and sixty-eight volunteers were investigated across the four groups. The groups were similar in terms of demographic characteristics, war experience and traumatization, and psychiatric and medical conditions other than PTSD (group A was similar to group C and group B was similar to group D). Between-groups comparisons did not yield statistically significant differences. Post-hoc analyses revealed significant differences in afternoon cortisol level between the offspring of veterans with current/past history of PTSD and the offspring of veterans without a history of PTSD.


We only found decreased cortisol levels in offspring of veterans after rearranging the groups to reflect previous history of PTSD. Further studies are required to investigate the relationship between cortisol levels and the transgenerational effects of trauma and parental PTSD.

Keywords : Epinephrine; norepinephrine; cortisol; posttraumatic stress disorder; offspring.

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