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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Salivary Immunoglobulin A Secretion Rate Is Negatively Associated with Cancer Mortality: The West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study
Author(s): Phillips, Anna C.
Carroll, Douglas
Drayson, Mark T.
Der, Geoff
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Issue Date: 23-Dec-2015
Citation: Phillips AC, Carroll D, Drayson MT & Der G (2015) Salivary Immunoglobulin A Secretion Rate Is Negatively Associated with Cancer Mortality: The West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study. PLOS ONE, 10 (12), Art. No.: e0145083.
Abstract: Immunoglobulins are essential for combating infectious disease although very high levels can indicate underlying pathology. The present study examined associations between secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in saliva and mortality rates in the general population. Participants were 639 adults from the eldest cohort of the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study aged 63 years at the time of saliva sampling in 1995. From unstimulated 2-minute saliva samples, saliva volume and S-IgA concentration were measured, and S-IgA secretion rate determined as their product. Mortality data were tracked for 19 years. Cox proportional hazard models were applied to compute hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality from sIgA secretion rate. Associations were adjusted for gender, assay batch, household occupational group, smoking, medication usage, and self-reported health. There was a negative association between log sIgA secretion rate and all-cause mortality, HR = 0.81, 95%CI = 0.73–0.91, p < .001. Further analysis of specific causes of mortality revealed that the all-cause association was due to an underlying association with cancer mortality and in particular with cancers other than lung cancer. The HR for non-lung cancer was 0.68 (95%CI = 0.54 to 0.85) implying a 32% reduction in mortality risk per standard deviation rise in log sIgA secretion rate. Effects were stronger for men than women. For deaths from respiratory diseases, sIgA secretion had a non-linear relationship with mortality risk whereby only the very lowest levels of secretion were associated with elevated risk. SIgA concentration revealed a similar but weaker pattern of association. In the present study, higher secretion rates of sIgA were associated with a decreased risk of death from cancer, specifically non-lung cancer, as well as from respiratory disease. Thus, it appears that sIgA plays a protective role among older adults, and could serve as a marker of mortality risk, specifically cancer mortality.
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145083
Rights: © 2015 Phillips et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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