The evaluation of anxiety and salivary cortisol levels in patients with oral lichen planus

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OBJECTIVEThe aim of this study was to determine any association between anxiety and salivary cortisol levels in oral lichen planus (OLP) patients by the case–control method.DESIGN RELEVANTForty patients with OLP were evaluated. The OLP diagnosis was established through a composite of accepted clinical and histopathological characteristics. Forty patients from the register of patients who obtained general dental care were selected as controls.MATERIAL AND METHODThe saliva samples collected between 9:00 and 9:15AM were analysed for the level of cortisol with Cortisol EIA that used competetive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Trait and state anxiety levels of 80 patients were measured using the Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.RESULTSThe mean level of cortisol from 40 saliva samples in study group was 1.46 and 0.93μg dl−1 in 40 controls (P = 0.001). The mean level for state anxiety in the study group were 48.85 and 39.45 in control group (P = 0.001). Trait anxiety levels in study group were 49.77 and 38.51 in control group (P = 0.001). We found that salivary cortisol, state and trait anxiety levels in OLP group were significantly higher than in the control group.CONCLUSIONBecause of the fact that the level of anxiety and salivary cortisol of OLP patients were high, our findings concluded that this disease is closely related with stress. Thus besides traditional treatment of OLP patients, our findings suggest that psychological support is also needed.

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