Effect of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 on Salivary Glucose

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Citation: Mascarenhas P, Fatela B, Barahona I (2014) Effect of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 on Salivary Glucose – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. PLoS ONE 9(7): e101706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101706
Published: July 15, 2014

Background: Early screening of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is essential for improved prognosis and effective delay of clinical complications. However, testing for high glycemia often requires invasive and painful blood testing, limiting its large-scale applicability. We have combined new, unpublished data with published data comparing salivary glucose levels in type 2 DM patients and controls and/or looked at the correlation between salivary glucose and glycemia/HbA1c to systematically review the effectiveness of salivary glucose to estimate glycemia and HbA1c. We further discuss salivary glucose as a biomarker for large-scale screening of diabetes or developing type 2 DM.
Methods and Findings: We conducted a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed published articles that reported data regarding mean salivary glucose levels and/or correlation between salivary glucose levels and glycemia or HbA1c for type 2 DM and non-diabetic individuals and combined them with our own unpublished results. Our global meta-analysis of standardized mean differences on salivary glucose levels shows an overall large positive effect of type 2 DM over salivary glucose (Hedge's g = 1.37). The global correlation coefficient (r) between salivary glucose and glycemia was large (r = 0.49), with subgroups ranging from medium (r = 0.30 in non-diabetics) to very large (r = 0.67 in diabetics). Meta-analysis of the global correlation between salivary glucose and HbA1c showed an overall association of medium strength (r = 0.37).
Conclusions: Our systematic review reports an overall meaningful salivary glucose concentration increase in type 2 DM and a significant overall relationship between salivary glucose concentration and associated glycemia/HbA1c values, with the strength of the correlation increasing for higher glycemia/HbA1c values. These results support the potential of salivary glucose levels as a biomarker for type 2 DM, providing a less painful/invasive method for screening type 2 DM, as well as for monitoring blood glucose levels in large cohorts of DM patients.

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