ObjectiveWe investigated the relationship between salivary cortisol level and the prevalence of depression 585 police officers working at the Police Departments of Beijing. Method: Cross-sectional data were obtained from 585 Chinese police officers recruited from Beijing, China. Salivary cortisol was assayed using the chemiluminescence immunoassay. A multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for potential confounders was used to assess independent associations between salivary cortisol level and depression. Results: The median age of the included was 38 years (IQR, 29-45), 20.9% were female (n=122). Finally, 15.6% (91/585; 95% CI: 12.6%-18.5%) were considered to have depression. The median salivary cortisol level was significantly higher in police with depression than those police without depression [14.5(IQR, 11.9-15.9) nmol/l vs. 11.8(IQR, 9.4-14.2) nmol/l; P<0.001]. The depression distribution across the salivary cortisol quartiles ranged between 5.4% (first quartile) to 26.9% (fourth quartile), P for trend. Conclusions: The data showed that elevated levels of salivary cortisol were associated with increased prevalence of depression.

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