As relatively little is known about the effect of age on salivary electrolytes we studied the composition of saliva as function of age to provide reference values for healthy non-smoking women. All non-medicated and non-smoking 30-59-year-old subjects (n=255) selected from among 1030 women participating in a screening program formed the material of the present study. Salivary calcium, inorganic phosphate, magnesium, sodium, potassium, protein and flow-rate of stimulated whole saliva were measured. We found age-related changes in salivary calcium and phosphate concentrations (p=0.001 and p=0.004, respectively, one-way ANOVA). Peak values occurred at around 50-54 years of age. Age had no effect on flow-rate, magnesium, sodium, potassium or proteins. The concentration of sodium correlated positively, while phosphate, potassium, magnesium and protein correlated negatively with the salivary flow-rate. Calcium was the only electrolyte which had no association with flow-rate. Our study provides reference values for salivary electrolytes of 30-59-year-old women.

Key Words: Salivary electrolytes, age, reference values.
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