Periodontal Disease May Increase Risk of Death in Older Women

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Periodontal disease may raise the risk of death in postmenopausal women, but not the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a paper in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study, “History of Periodontitis Diagnosis and Edentulism as Predictors of Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, and Mortality in Postmenopausal Women,” led by researchers at the University of Buffalo (UB), included 57,001 women ages 55 to 89 with no known cardiovascular disease events. In a 6.7-year follow up, data showed periodontal disease was associated with a 12% higher risk of death from any cause, and loss of all natural teeth was associated with a 17% increased risk of death from any cause. A total of 3589 cardiovascular disease events and 3816 deaths were reported.

According to the report, women who had lost their teeth tended to be older, had more cardiovascular disease event factors, and visited the dentist less frequently than dentate subjects. Michael J. LaMonte, PhD, lead author and research associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, notes, “Our findings suggest that older women may be at increased risk of death due to their periodontal condition and may benefit from more intensive oral screening measures.”

From Decisions in Dentistry. July 2017;3(7):11.

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