A pilot study of glycosylated hemoglobin levels in periodontitis cases and healthy controls

J Periodontol. 2009 Jul;80(7):1057-61. doi: 10.1902/jop.2009.080664.


Background: Periodontitis is associated with glycemic control in patients with diabetes. The purpose of this study was to determine if glycosylated hemoglobin is elevated in patients with periodontitis who have not been diagnosed with diabetes.

Methods: Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was assessed using a chairside test in 59 adults without diabetes but with periodontitis (having at least five teeth with probing depth [PD] > or =5 mm, bleeding on probing [BOP], and clinical attachment or radiographic bone loss) and 53 healthy controls (PDs < or =4 mm and BOP < or =15%). Groups were compared using the t test and linear regression. Patients with HbA1c levels > or =6% were compared using the Fisher exact test and logistic regression.

Results: Periodontitis cases were more likely than controls to be male (68% versus 38%; P = 0.002) and current or former smokers (P = 0.002). Cases had significantly higher body mass index (BMI) than controls (27.6 kg/m(2) versus 25.5 kg/m(2); P = 0.018) but were of similar age (51.3 years versus 50.9 years; P = 0.89). Unadjusted mean HbA1c levels did not differ significantly between cases and controls (5.66% +/- 0.56% versus 5.51% +/- 0.44%; P = 0.12). After adjustments for age, gender, BMI, and current smoking, mean HbA1c was significantly higher in cases (between-group difference, 0.21%; P = 0.046). A higher proportion of cases (27.3%) than controls (13.2%) had HbA1c values > or =6%, although this difference was not statistically significant (P >0.1).

Conclusions: Periodontitis is associated with a slight elevation in glycosylated hemoglobin. The clinical significance of this difference remains to be determined. This preliminary finding is consistent with earlier reports that periodontitis is associated with elevated blood glucose in adults without diabetes and may increase one's risk for type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontitis / blood*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reference Values
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A