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Study finds over 90 percent of people with gum disease are at risk for diabetes
Date:12/14/2009

The study, led by Dr. Shiela Strauss, Associate Professor of Nursing and Co-Director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for NYU's Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, examined data from 2,923 adult participants in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had not been diagnosed with diabetes. The survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.

Using guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Strauss determined that 93 percent of subjects who had periodontal disease, compared to 63 percent of those without the disease, were considered to be at high risk for diabetes and should be screened for diabetes. The guidelines recommend diabetes screening for people at least 45 years of age with a body mass index (a comparative measure of weight and height) of 25 or more, as well as for those under 45 years of age with a BMI of 25 or more who also have at least one additional diabetes risk factor. In Dr. Strauss's study, two of those additional risk factors high blood pressure and a first-degree relative (a parent or sibling) with diabetes were reported in a significantly greater number of subjects with periodontal disease than in subjects without the disease. Dr. Strauss's findings, published today in the online edition of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, add to a growing body of evidence linking periodontal infections to an increased risk for diabetes.

Dr. Strauss also examined how often those with gum disease and a risk for diabetes visit a dentist, finding that three in five reported a dental visit in the past two years; half in the past year; and a third in the past six months.

"In light of these findings, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct an initial diabetes screening -- an important f
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Contact: Ami Finkelthal
af73@nyu.edu
212-998-9294
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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