Study Finds Periodontal Disease May Increase Lung Cancer Risk
Individuals with periodontal disease face an increased risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study published online in the Journal of Periodontology.
Individuals with periodontal disease face an increased risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study published online in the Journal of Periodontology. In “Periodontal Disease and Incident Lung Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies,” Chinese researchers report that individuals with periodontal disease have a 1.24-fold increased risk of lung cancer.
The authors assessed the findings of five cohort studies that evaluated 321,420 subjects. Their analysis suggests an increased risk, even after adjusting for participants’ alcohol consumption and smoking habits — both of which are risk factors for periodontal disease. Study participants who were drinkers, smokers or had been diagnosed with diabetes demonstrated a 1.36-fold increase in lung cancer risk. The data also indicate that women with periodontal disease are more likely than men to develop lung cancer.
One of the studies cited suggests that specific oral bacteria may be involved in the development of cancer cells in the lungs. Another indicates that successful treatment of periodontal disease may lead to a substantially reduced lung cancer risk. Although further research is warranted, these results suggest that maintaining periodontal health can mitigate risk — a potentially significant development considering that the American Cancer Society ranks lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in men and women.
From Decisions in Dentistry. August 2016;2(08):9.