October 1987

Seasonal Dexamethasone Suppression Test Results-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Institute for Nervous and Mental Diseases Budapest 27, Pf 1 1281 Hungary

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(10):920-921. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800220092015

In Reply.—  Drs Brewerton and Gwirtsman have reanalyzed our DST data, dividing them into two half-year parts: short indicating fall and winter and long, spring and summer. Using this genuine terminology and appropriate statistical method, a significant difference has been found between the two time periods in the DST results of unipolar depressives. Since the nonsuppression rates are almost equal in spring and fall, it is obvious that the winter-summer difference is responsible for it. We have to admit that a circannual, four-season pattern would have been more stylish; however, looking at the actual figures before doing any statistical analysis, it was clear to us that the only difference to be seen was the winter-summer difference (37% vs 56% nonsuppression rate). That is why we used the 2x2 table X2 analysis, which yielded a significant difference. If it is diluted with the other two seasons, spring and fall, which are

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