Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 P298

Identifying novel relationships between salivary biomarkers and biographical health data in study of reproductive age females with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Gillian Cooper, Aziza Ajak & Urszula Tymoszuk


Department of Anthropology, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom.


Introduction: A sample of females (aged 19–40) was recruited from the local community to examine female health with regard to reproductive and metabolic indices. Data collected included saliva samples, anthropometrics, blood glucose, birth weight, pubertal development, health (current / previous / family history), reproductive health history and risk / diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Objectives: 1) Improve understanding of female health characteristics including salivary ranges of key biomarkers implicated in Metabolic Syndrome and PCOS. 2) Further knowledge of the individual differences and mechanisms underlying metabolic and reproductive syndromes (e.g. PCOS). 3) Contribute towards a greater understanding of the potential of saliva (versus serum) and the degree to which salivary endocrine profiles might reflect (serum) established endocrine knowledge of metabolic and reproductive syndromes. Outcomes: This was an exploratory study with potential to generate novel profiles of life course / biographical heath data against endocrine data. Salivary biomarker levels (testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and C-reactive protein (CRP)) were measured using ELISA in our laboratory and are reported in relation to BMI, ethnicity, PCOS diagnosis, oral contraceptive use and biographical health data. In brief, study findings include: Increased salivary testosterone recorded in participants diagnosed with PCOS; however testosterone levels were attenuated as body weight indices increased. There were no clear effects of PCOS diagnosis on DHEAS; but ethnicity did have an impact on DHEAS levels. Elevated salivary CRP levels in PCOS diagnosed participants. Links between CRP, body weight indices and oral contraceptive use were also apparent.

Conclusion: This exploratory research has identified a number of confirmatory and novel research findings which contribute further towards our understanding of female health and PCOS.

Declaration of interest: There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.

Funding: Declaration of Funding: Society of Endocrinology Early Career Grant Award 2010.

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