Aims: The aims of this study are to describe the relationships between IgG antibodies to 17 oral organisms and atherosclerosis as indexed by carotid intima-medial wall thickness (IMT) and to evaluate the role of smoking.
Methods and results: Our study is based on a subset of participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, who received a complete periodontal examination during visit 4 (1996-1998). The outcome was mean carotid IMT>/=1mm assessed by B-mode ultrasound. The exposures were serum IgG antibody levels against 17 periodontal organisms using a whole bacterial checkerboard immunoblotting technique. Evaluation of all 17 antibodies indicated that antibody to Campylobacter rectus resulted in the best-fitting model (OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.83-2.84) and individuals with both high C. rectus and Peptostreptococcus micros titers had almost twice the prevalence of IMT>/=1mm than those with only a high C. rectus antibody (8.3% versus 16.3%). Stratification by smoking indicated that all microbial models significant for smokers were also significant for never smokers except for Porphyromonas gingivalis (p=0.08).
Conclusions: This is the first study to report a relationship between IgG antibody reactive to oral organisms and subclinical atherosclerosis with significant relationships evident in both ever and never smokers.