Smidt D, Torpet LA, Nauntofte B, Heegaard KM, Pedersen AML. Associations between labial and whole salivary flow rates, systemic diseases and medications in a sample of older people. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010; 38: 422–435. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Abstract – Objective: To investigate the associations between age, gender, systemic diseases, medications and labial and whole salivary flow rates in older people.
Methods: Unstimulated labial (LS) and unstimulated (UWS) and chewing-stimulated (SWS) whole salivary flow rates were measured in 389 randomly selected community-dwelling Danish women and 279 men aged 65–97 years. Systemic diseases, medications (coded according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System), tobacco and alcohol consumption were registered.
Results: The number of diseases and medications was higher and UWS lower in the older age groups. On average, women were slightly older, had more diseases, higher medication intake and lower UWS, SWS and LS than men. High number of diseases and medications was associated with low UWS, SWS and LS. In the healthy (14%) and nonmedicated (19%) participants, flow rates were not associated with age and gender, apart from SWS being lower in nonmedicated women. Low UWS were associated with psychiatric and respiratory disorders, type 2 diabetes and intake of psycholeptics, psychoanaleptics (especially SRRIs), respiratory agents, oral antidiabetics (particularly sulfonylureas), magnesium-hydroxide, cardiac agents, quinine, thiazides, calcium channel blockers, statins, urinary antispasmodics, glucosamine, NSAIDs, opioids and ophthalmologicals. SWS were lower in participants with ophthalmological disorders using ophthalmologicals (especially antiglaucoma agents and miotics), but also in those taking antidepressants, cardiac agents (mostly digitalis glycosides) and calcium channel blockers. Cardiovascular diseases and intake of anti-thrombotics (mainly low dose aspirins), calcium channel blockers and oral antidiabetics were associated with low LS.
Conclusions: In older people, low salivary flow rates are associated with specific and high number of diseases and medications, but neither with age and gender per se nor with tobacco and alcohol consumption. Low UWS are associated with more diseases and medications than SWS and LS, which were primarily associated with cardiovascular diseases and medications including preventive agents such as low-dose aspirins and statins. New insights into medications and their association with salivary gland function were achieved using the ATC classification system.