Objective: Many studies have investigated the relationship between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases but their results are heterogeneous. Meta-analyses were conducted to examine the association between exposure to periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases.
Material and methods: Studies published between 1989 and 2007 were retrieved from seven databases. The included articles reported the results from observational studies (cohort, cross-sectional and case-control studies) and assessed the link between periodontal exposure and cardiovascular diseases as confirmed by one of the following criteria: diagnosed coronary artery disease, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, mortality caused by cardiac pathology. The study characteristics were abstracted by independent researchers following a standardised protocol. The MOOSE guidelines for meta-analysis of observational studies were followed.
Results: From 215 epidemiological studies, 47 were observational, of which 29 articles could be combined by the meta-analysis methodology. The pooled odds ratio calculated from the 22 case-control and cross-sectional studies was 2.35 (95% CI [1.87; 2.96], p < 0.0001). The risk of developing cardiovascular disease was found to be significantly (34%) higher in subjects with periodontal disease compared to those without periodontal disease (pooled relative risk from the 7 cohort studies was 1.34 (95% CI [1.27; 1.42], p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: It seems from observational studies that subjects with periodontal diseases have higher odds and higher risks of developing cardiovascular diseases but the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events associated with the treatment of periodontitis remains to be investigated.