Background: Recent reports have implicated periodontal disease as a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using participants in the 1970-1972 Nutrition Canada Survey (NCS). The mortality experience of male and female NCS participants aged 35-84 years without self-reported CHD (n = 10,368) or cerebrovascular disease (CVD) (n = 11,251) was determined through 1993. The relation between dental health and the risk of fatal CHD and CVD was assessed using Poisson regression modeling.
Results: In total, 466 CHD and 210 CVD deaths were observed; missing confounder data reduced these numbers to 416 CHD and 182 CVD deaths. Adjusted for age, sex, diabetes status, serum total cholesterol, smoking, hypertensive status, and province, we found a statistically significant association between periodontal disease and risk of fatal CHD. Rate ratios (RR) of 2.15 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-3.72) and 1.90 (95% CI 1.17-3.10) were observed for severe gingivitis and edentulous status, respectively. Non-statistically significantly increased RRs of 1.81 and 1.63 were observed for severe gingivitis and edentulous status for CVD.
Conclusions: These data indicate that poor dental health is associated with an increased risk of fatal CHD.