Relationship of unstimulated saliva cortisol level with severity of oral dryness feeling in menopausal women


Professor Farzaneh Agha-Hosseini
Department of Oral Medicine/Dental Research Center
Dentistry School
Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Background:  Menopause may be associated with some adverse changes, such as oral dryness (OD) feeling. The exact mechanisms that mediate sensation of OD in menopausal women have not been firmly established. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of unstimulated whole saliva cortisol level with severity of OD feeling in menopausal women.

Methods:  A case control study was carried out on 70 selected menopausal women with/without OD feeling, conducted at the Clinic of Oral Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. The xerostomia inventory (XI) score was used as an index of OD feeling severity. Unstimulated whole saliva cortisol concentration was measured by ELISA. Statistical analysis of student’s t-test and Spearman correlation was used.

Results:  The mean cortisol concentration of saliva was significantly higher in women with OD feeling than the control. There was significant positive correlation between the XI score and the concentration of unstimulated whole saliva cortisol (r = 0.559, p = 0.025).

Conclusions:  Unstimulated whole saliva cortisol is higher in menopausal women with OD feeling than in controls and this correlates with the severity of OD.