Relationship of Salivary Occult Blood With General and Oral Health Status in Employees of a Japanese Department Store

Kazushi Segawa, Hideo Shigeishi, Munehito Fujii, Kazuki Noumi, Fuminori Yamanaka, Katsumi Kamikawa, Shinsuke Arakawa, Masaru Sugiyama


Background: The Japanese Ministry of Health started screening for periodontal disease as part of senior health services in 1995. However, only a small number of workplaces conduct regular dental checkups in Japan. Therefore, the prevalence of periodontal disease and other oral health conditions has not been fully determined in workers in Japan. This study aimed to clarify the usefulness of a salivary occult blood test (SOBT) to assess periodontal disease, and to investigate the association of salivary occult blood with general and oral health in Japanese employees.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among department store workers in Hiroshima city. Subjects were 449 workers who received regular health checkups including dental examinations in 2018. An SOBT using monoclonal antibody against human hemoglobin was performed. Periodontal status was evaluated using the Community Periodontal Index (CPI). We investigated the association of salivary occult blood with general and oral health in 338 employees (85 men, 253 women; mean age 41.4 years, range 19 - 69 years).

Results: Univariate analysis revealed a significant relationship between salivary occult blood and sex, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, CPI, daily brushing frequency, and number of untreated teeth (P = 0.034, P = 0.003, P = 0.022, P = 0.007, P = 0.004, and P = 0.015, respectively). Furthermore, BMI, diabetes, CPI, and brushing frequency were significantly associated with salivary occult blood in binomial logistic regression analysis (odds ratio 1.09, P = 0.014; odds ratio 9.38, P = 0.047; odds ratio 1.31, P = 0.004; and odds ratio 0.70, P = 0.045, respectively). These results suggest that positivity in the SOBT is importantly associated with periodontal disease and diabetes. Interestingly, subjects aged ≥ 35 years with metabolic syndrome exhibited a significantly higher positive rate of salivary occult blood than those without metabolic syndrome (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The SOBT was a reliable screening method for periodontal disease, and positivity in the test was related to diabetes in Japanese employees. Further examinations are required to clarify the association of salivary occult blood with other systemic diseases.

J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(3):179-187


Salivary occult blood test; Periodontal disease; Metabolic syndrome; Workers

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