Assessing salivary progesterone in coca-leaf chewing populations
Vitzthum, Virginia J
Von Dornum, Miranda
Ellison, Peter T
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ABSTRACT Although there is evidence for reduced fertility in Andean and Himalayan populations at higher altitudes, factors other than hypoxia may be primarily responsible. A potentially valuable approach in the investigation of these fertiüty determinants is the use of salivary steroid assays. However, coca-leaf ehewinga ubiquitous practice amonghigh altitude Andean populations-has negative consequences for the acsurate measurement of ovarian steroids. Ttris report evaluates the effests of coca-leaf chewing on assays of ealivary progesterone. Study participante include naive and habitual users of coca-leaf fmm La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia. Approximately 300 saliva samples were collected immeüately before, dnring, and after coca-leaf chewing. Ttre series includes samples with and without the alkaloid enhancer typically used by coca-leaf chewers. On the basis of this study, an appropriate protocol is developed for the collection of salivary samples in coca-leaf chewing populations. Ttrese reeults highliglrt the necessity of establishing suitable collection procedures before full field implementaüon of saliva sampling.