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Presence of gum disease may help dentists and physicians identify risk for cardiovascular disease
Date:11/25/2008

enes and lifestyle habits they share.

In this study, 421 individuals who were blood related to and/or living with a person recently hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease were screened for traditional cardiovascular risk factors (such as elevated blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels), inflammatory markers associated with disease risk (high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hsCRP) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2)). They were also asked standardized questions about their oral health status, including whether they had ever been diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease, whether they had ever been treated for periodontal disease, whether they used partial or complete removable dentures, and the date of their last teeth cleaning. The oral health history was then correlated with standard markers of inflammation.

Results found that among participants who did not have traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and overweight/obese status), almost one in four were found to have a personal history of periodontal disease and higher levels of Lp-PLA2, an inflammatory marker which has been found present in inflamed rupture prone plaque in heart arteries/valves.

It is important to note that it is not possible to determine from this study that poor oral health causes cardiovascular disease risk or that any therapy based on oral health status would be effective in preventing cardiovascular disease. However, Dr. Mosca says, "Our finding is novel because it suggests the dentist and oral health exam may be the latest weapon in identifying persons at risk of cardiovascular disease, our nation's number one killer."

"Many people don't realize how oral health is often a predictor of one's overall health," says co-author John T. Grbic, DMD, MS, MMSc, professor of clinical dental medicine at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. "Symptoms for many life-thr
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Contact: Belinda Mager
bem9048@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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