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October 15, 1973

Serum Albumin and Urea During States of Anxiety and Depression

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois Medical Center Chicago

JAMA. 1973;226(3):356. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230030068032

To the Editor.—  We wish to report that automated serum chemistry data of 1,900 psychiatric outpatients we have studied confirm Dr. Albert Casey's finding of elevated serum albumin and lowered serum urea nitrogen levels among various anxiety states. The clinical chemistry data of the depressive patients in our sample also tend to support his observations of the albumin levels characteristic of that group (224:1532,1973). Statistical significances in our sample were 0.05 or less.It is important to emphasize that the techniques used in Dr. Casey's study measured only those substances present in the serum. Since a given total quantity of albumin and urea nitrogen are present in the body, fluctuations in serum levels of these substances must be accompanied by inverse fluctuations of the quantities of each bound to other body tissues.Our chemistry studies of blood drawn from anxious or agitated patients, indicated that serum albumin levels were elevated