The effect of exercise on salivary IgA levels and the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in postmenopausal women

Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg. 2005;15(5-6):112-6.


Objectives: To examine the patterns of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in postmenopausal Turkish women and the relationship of moderate aerobic exercise with secretion of salivary IgA and episodes of URTI.

Materials and methods: Ninety healthy, sedentary women at ages 45 to 65 years volunteered to participate in a 12-week prospective study. They were randomized to three groups equal in number: indoor exercise, outdoor exercise, and no exercise. The exercising women were supervised during 30 min indoor treadmill walk or outdoor track walking sessions during 5 days/week at 60% of their calculated maximal heart rate. During a 12-week exercise program, episodes suggestive of URTI were recorded. Non-exercising women were followed with weekly telephone calls. The salivary IgA levels were measured in all the subjects before and at the end of the study.

Results: There were significant differences between the exercising and non-exercising women with respect to the number of URTI episodes and the length of URTI symptomatology per episode in favor of exercise. No significant difference was found between the indoor and outdoor exercising groups. The salivary IgA levels showed no significant differences between the three groups and within each group.

Conclusion: Moderate intensity aerobic exercise is associated with fewer episodes of URTI and fewer days of URTI symptomatology per episode in healthy postmenopausal Turkish women, but this does not seem to be related to salivary IgA concentrations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / biosynthesis*
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / metabolism
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory