Background: This meta-analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between periodontal diseases and coronary heart diseases (CHD) and cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) in observational studies.
Methods: This study was based on seven cohort studies and four studies of other designs that met prestated inclusion criteria. Information on study design, year of publication, study location, sample size, study population, participant characteristics, measurement of risk factors, exposure and outcome measures, matching, controlling for confounders, and risk estimates was abstracted independently by two investigators using a standard protocol.
Results: Subjects with periodontitis had an overall adjusted risk of CHD that was 1.15 times (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06 to 1.25; P = 0.001) the risk for healthy subjects. There was no heterogeneity among the studies in the overall relative risk estimate (P = 0.472). As compared to healthy subjects, those with periodontitis had an overall adjusted relative risk of CVD of 1.13 (95% CI: 1.01 to 1.27; P = 0.032).
Conclusions: Findings indicated that periodontal infection increases the risk of CHD and CVD. However, this meta-analysis provided no evidence for the existence of strong associations between periodontitis and CHD and CVD. Larger and better-controlled studies involving socially homogeneous populations and measuring specific periodontal pathogens are required to identify a definite association between periodontal disease and the risk of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.