[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.145.176.252. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Letters to the Editor
May 2001

Low Salivary Cortisol Levels and Aggressive Behavior

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(5):513-514. doi:

In their article "Low Salivary Cortisol and Persistent Aggression in Boys Referred for Disruptive Behavior," McBurnett et al1 report a relationship between low (ie, below the group median) salivary cortisol levels and aggressive behavior in boys. They conclude that low hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity may be a correlate of severe and persistent aggression in male children and adolescents. Their interesting finding raises another consideration. Is it possible that some of these boys could have had a readily treatable endocrine disorder, namely a form of late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia with disturbed cortisol production as a result of inherited enzyme deficiency, resulting in abnormally high serum levels of androgenic intermediaries of cortisol synthesis that might contribute to the development of aggressive behavior? A case in point follows.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×