Impaired serum cortisol stress response is a predictor of early relapse

K. Junghanns*, J. Backhaus, U. Tietz, W. Lange, J. Bernzen, T. Wetterling, L. Rink, M. Driessen

*Corresponding author for this work
144 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: to investigate a possible association of cortisol stress response during early abstention with relapse. Methods: Thirty-six alcohol-dependent males, half of them with a comorbid anxiety disorder, and 15 healthy controls were exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test. Thirty-one of the patients were assessed for relapse 6 weeks after discharge. Results: The relapsers showed almost no cortisol responses in the stress test. Comorbid anxiety disorder influenced neither stress response nor relapse. Conclusions: During early abstention from alcohol, reduced stress-responsivity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis seems to be connected to early relapse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 03.2003

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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