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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Researchers Examine the Association between Sialolithisasis and Osteoporosis

Dr. Sudha Xirasagar, a professor of health services policy and management at the University of South Carolina Arnold School for Public Health, has collaborated with a team of researchers from Taiwan (Taipei Medical University, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, National Yang-Ming University, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences)  to study the association between sialolithiasis (salivary gland stones) and osteoporosis. Their paper was published in Clinical Otolaryngology.

Using a case-control design, the researchers retrieved patients with sialolithasis from Taiwan’s Longitudinal Health Insurance Database (557 patients, aged over 40 years) and 1671 age-sex-matched controls. The team examined the adjusted association of sialolithiasis following a previous diagnosis of osteoporosis. Overall 7.7 percent had a prior diagnosis of osteoporosis, 10.41 percent (58 osteoporosis cases) among the sialolithiasis group, and 6.8 percent among the comparison group  (113 osteoporosis cases) among the comparison group. Adjusted analysis showed that the odds of prior osteoporosis for sialolithiasis patients was 1.79 relative to comparison group after adjusting for urbanization and selected medical co-morbidities.

Among patients ages 65 or older, the adjusted odds of prior osteoporosis for cases was 1.89 with no difference among younger patients. The team concluded that there is an association between sialolithiasis and osteoporosis. While this clinical epidemiological finding warrants further biomedical investigation, the results call for physician awareness to look for possible osteoporosis among patients presenting with salivary gland stones.