Correlation between salivary α-amylase and stress-related anxiety

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Salivary α-amylase is a useful biomarker that can be used in assessing human psychobiological and social behavioural processes. Studying it opens up possibilities for the creation of novel concepts concerning the interaction of biological and social processes and their impact on health and behaviour.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The levels of salivary α-amylase and situation anxiety self-assessment using Spielberger test were measured twice in 30 individuals aged 21.37 ± 0.96 yrs (18 females and 12 males): once during stressful situation (prior to examination) and, again a month later, in stress-free environment (during a training session). Salivary α-amylase was measured using kinetic reaction kit Salimetrics LLC - USA.

RESULTS: The mean level of salivary α-amylase measured during the first measurement 156.0 ± 93.33 U/ml. During the second measurement in the absence of intense stress, the levels were two times lower - 74.03 ± 58.06 U/ml and the differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). We found a statistically significant correlation between the levels of salivary α-amylase in both measurements (P < 0.01). The correlation coefficient was r = 0.472 (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The adapted version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory score (STAI) created by Spielberger is appropriate for assessment of stress-related anxiety in young individuals. Salivary α-amylase may be used as a biomarker for objective evaluation of the psychosomatic state of individuals in a stressful environment. The combination of psychological test and objective indicator such as salivary α-amylase is an excellent tool for objective evaluation of individual’s state in stressful environment. Similar tests may be used in assessment of patients’ behaviours at dental treatment that may be considered a stressor in most patients.

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