Association between periodontitis and ischemic stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan;32(1):43-53. doi: 10.1007/s10654-016-0170-6. Epub 2016 Jun 14.


Several observational studies have suggested an association between periodontitis and cerebral ischemia. This meta-analysis aimed to investigate whether this link exists, and if so, the degree to which it is significant. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guideline for systematic review was used. The search strategy included using electronic databases and hand searching works published up to March 2015. MEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, Proceedings Web of Science and Current Contents Connect were searched by two independent reviewers. Case-control, cross-sectional or cohort studies including patients with measures of periodontitis and ischemic stroke were eligible to be included in the analysis. Quality assessments of selected studies were performed. From a total of 414 titles and abstracts, 57 potentially relevant full text papers were identified. After inclusion criteria were applied, 8 studies were included in the present systematic review (5 case-control and 3 cohort studies). Although it was not the intention, cross-sectional studies were excluded due to eligibility criteria were not accomplished. Therefore, meta-analyses were conducted with data retrieved from the 8 studies included. These meta-analyses showed statistically significant association between periodontitis and ischemic stroke in both cohort pooled relative risks at 2.52 (1.77-3.58), and case-control studies pooled relative risks at 3.04 (1.10-8.43). In conclusion, the present meta-analysis demonstrated an association between periodontitis and ischemic stroke. However, well-designed prospective studies should be carried out to provide robust evidence of the link between both diseases. In regards to ischemic stroke subtypes, further case-control studies should be carried out to investigate whether there is any association between the different subtypes of cerebral infarcts and periodontitis.

Keywords: Ischemic stroke; Meta-analysis; Periodontitis; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Periodontitis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke*