Background: It has been suggested that periodontal disease (PD) was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), although evidence is inconclusive.
Purpose: We first sought to prospectively evaluate the relationship of PD to CVD and all-cause mortality using a national representative sample in the United States.
Methods: The study population consisted of 10,849 participants who were 30 years or older and received a periodontal examination from NHANES III mortality follow-up sample (1988-2006). CVD and all-cause deaths were ascertained from the National Death Index records. The causes of death were defined using the International Classification of Disease coding (ICD-10). The severity of PD was categorized as non-PD, modest and severe PD based on clinical attachment loss and pocket depth.
Results: Of the study sample, 3105 and 561 participants were identified as modest and severe PD cases, respectively. After up to 18 years of follow-up, there were total 2894 deaths, of which 1225 were from CVD. The levels of inflammation markers (high sensitivity C-reactive protein, white cell count and fibrinogen) were significantly higher in men with severe PD compared to men without PD (p<0.05). The prospective associations were evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models. After adjusting for age, gender, race, household income and traditional risk factors of CVD, severe PD was associated with an increase risk of CVD mortality and all-cause mortality in men aged 30-64 years (HR=2.13 with 95% confidence interval of 1.37-3.31 for CVD mortality; HR=1.64 with 95% confidence interval of 1.25-2.15 for all-cause mortality). In addition, significant linear trends were found in CVD and all-cause mortality across the severity of PD (p<0.001). However, no significant associations were found in men aged ≥65 and in women.
Conclusions: There appears to be prospective associations between PD and CVD and all-cause mortality in men aged 30-64 years. Inflammation may be one possible pathway to link PD with CVD.
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