Association between periodontal disease and stroke

J Vasc Surg. 2012 Apr;55(4):1178-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2011.10.008. Epub 2012 Jan 14.


Objective: Periodontitis is a very common human infection. There is evidence that periodontitis is associated with cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and stroke. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between periodontal disease and CVD in observational studies.

Methods: An electronic search of the English literature using PubMed was conducted. A meta-analysis of the studies reporting on the risk of stroke in patients with periodontitis was performed.

Results: Six prospective and seven retrospective studies met the inclusion criteria. Patients with both hemorrhagic and ischemic cerebrovascular events, fatal and nonfatal, were included. Definition of periodontitis was taken directly from included studies. Most studies have been adjusted for common cardiovascular risk factors. Separate statistical analysis was performed for prospective and retrospective studies. Overall adjusted risk of stroke in subjects with periodontitis was 1.47 times higher than in subjects without (95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.92;P = .0035) in prospective and 2.63 times (95% confidence interval, 1.59-4.33;P = .0002) in retrospective studies. The application of the trim and fill algorithm does not change the initial significant inference.

Conclusions: There is evidence that periodontitis is associated with increased risk of stroke. However, the results of this meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution because of the heterogeneity of the studies as well as the differences in periodontitis definition.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodontal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Periodontitis / diagnosis*
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Survival Analysis