A study published in the latest issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that there is a strong link between tooth loss and heart disease.
These conclusions were arrived at by researchers at the Division of Adult and Community Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They monitored data of 41,891 respondents who took part in the 1999-2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. This particular survey covered 22 states and the District of Columbia and involved respondents aged 40 to 79 years. Factors such as sex, race and ethnicity, education, marital status, diabetes, smoking status, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and body mass index were adjusted before arriving at the conclusions, according to Catherine Okoro, an epidemiologist at the DACH. Heart disease was found in 4.5 percent of people without tooth loss, in 5.7 percent in those who had lost 1 to 5 teeth, in 7.5 percent with 6 to 31 missing teeth and 8.5 percent in people with complete tooth loss.
The researchers also said that the findings of this study were identical to previous ones linking periodontal disease and tooth loss to heart disease and atherosclerosis. "Smoking has strong relationships to both tooth loss and heart disease. Nonetheless, when we stratified by age group and smoking status, a significant association remained between tooth loss and heart disease among respondents aged 40 to 59 years who had never smoked," Okoro said. "These results highlight the importance of health promotion counseling that includes the promotion of heart-healthy behaviors, the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease risk factors and the maintenance of good oral health."
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American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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