Association Between Periodontal Disease and Kidney Function Decline in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study

J Periodontol. 2015 Oct;86(10):1126-32. doi: 10.1902/jop.2015.150195. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a prevalent public health problem that disproportionately affects African Americans, despite intense efforts targeting traditional risk factors. Periodontal disease, a chronic bacterial infection of the oral cavity, is both common and modifiable and has been implicated as a novel potential CKD risk factor. The authors seek to examine to what extent periodontal disease is associated with kidney function decline.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study examines 699 African American participants with preserved kidney function (defined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) >60 mL/minute/1.73 m(2) at baseline) who underwent complete dental examinations as part of the Dental-Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (1996 to 1998) and subsequently enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study (2000 to 2004). Using multivariable Poisson regression, the authors examined the association of periodontal disease (severe versus non-severe) with incident CKD, defined as incident eGFR <60 mL/minute/1.73 m(2) and rapid (5% annualized) eGFR decline at follow-up among those with preserved eGFR at baseline.

Results: Mean (± SD) age at baseline was 65.4 (± 5.2) years, and 16.3% (n = 114) had severe periodontal disease. There were 21 cases (3.0%) of incident CKD after a mean follow-up of 4.8 (± 0.6) years. Compared with participants with non-severe periodontal disease, those with severe periodontal disease had a four-fold greater rate of incident CKD (adjusted incidence rate ratio 4.18 [95% confidence interval 1.68 to 10.39], P = 0.002).

Conclusions: Severe periodontal disease is prevalent among a population at high risk for CKD and is associated with clinically significant kidney function decline. Further research is needed to determine if periodontal disease treatment alters the trajectory of renal deterioration.

Keywords: African Americans; chronic; disease progression; health status disparities; periodontal disease; renal insufficiency; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Recession / classification
  • Gingival Recession / complications
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / classification
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / complications
  • Periodontal Diseases / classification
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / classification
  • Periodontal Pocket / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking


  • Creatinine