Navigation Links
Women who get dental care have lower risk of heart disease, says study

Berkeley A new study led by a University of California, Berkeley, researcher could give women a little extra motivation to visit their dentist more regularly. The study suggests that women who get dental care reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by at least one-third.

The analysis, which used data from nearly 7,000 people ages 44-88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, did not find a similar benefit for men.

Published online Sept. 29 in the journal Health Economics, the study compared people who went to the dentist during the previous two years with those who did not.

"Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a causal way," said study lead author Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health.

In the world of health and medical studies, causality is typically determined through randomized controlled trials in which two or more groups of people are essentially equal, except for the receipt of a treatment or intervention, such as a new drug, a periodontal procedure or a health education class. The group that did not receive the treatment the control group is compared with the group that did. Differences in outcomes between the groups are attributed to the treatment.

But randomized controlled trials are not always possible, so researchers sometimes turn to a statistical approach called the method of instrumental variables to rule out other potential factors that could account for different outcomes between groups. The use of instrumental variables is common among economists to evaluate the effects of economic policies, but it is less well-known in the clinical setting.

"While relatively short randomized controlled trials of specific types of dental treatment are possible, we can't run long-term randomized controlled trials of whether general dental care reduces cardiovascular disease events like heart attacks and strokes," said Brown, a health economist. "Individuals randomized to the treatment group would enjoy general dental care and those randomized to the control group would get no dental care at all. Many, if not most, people in the control group would simply get dental care on their own, destroying the experimental design, and making the results of the experiment worthless. The method of instrumental variables allows us to avoid this problem."

The method helped researchers rule out self-selection bias, or the possibility that people who seek out dental care are different perhaps healthier in general than those who don't.

Data from the Health and Retirement Study had been collected every two years from 1996 to 2004. This longitudinal study followed the same individuals over time, and each biennial survey included questions on whether subjects had visited the dentist and whether they had experienced a heart attack, stroke, angina or congestive heart failure during the prior two years. Deaths from heart attacks or strokes were also included in the analysis. The study took into account other risk factors, such as alcohol and tobacco use, high blood pressure and body mass index.

The fact that men and women did not benefit equally from dental care did not completely surprise the researchers. "To my knowledge, previous studies in this area have found that the relationship between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease markers varies by gender, but none have examined differences between men and women with regard to actual cardiovascular disease events," said Brown, who is also associate director of research at UC Berkeley's Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets & Consumer Welfare.

"We think the findings reflect differences in how men and women develop cardiovascular disease," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Brown, a first-year obstetrician/gynecologist resident at the West Virginia University Charleston Division School of Medicine. "Other studies suggest that estrogen has a protective effect against heart disease because it helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis. It's not until women hit menopause around age 50 to 55 that they start catching up with men."

The study authors suggest that for dental care to have a protective effect, it should occur early in the development of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers did not have data on the type of procedures used during the dental visit, but they pointed to other studies that indicated three-fourths of older adult dental visits involved preventive services, such as cleaning, fluoride and sealant treatments.

Oral health experts recommend twice-yearly visits to the dentist, as well as brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Those wearing dentures should make sure they stay clean to prevent the growth and buildup of plaque and bacteria.


Contact: Sarah Yang
University of California -- Berkeley

Related medicine news :

1. Womens study finds longevity means getting just enough sleep
2. Bioethics scholars fault requirement that all women in clinical drug trials use contraception
3. Mammograms Save Lives for Women in Their 40s, Study Says
4. Study finds women with triple negative breast cancer and BRCA mutations have lower risk of recurrence
5. UT MD Anderson study finds women treated for breast cancer while pregnant have improved survival
6. Women and Infants provides fertility preservation for childhood cancer survivors
7. International conference focusing on womens mental health Oct. 27 to 30 in Pittsburgh
8. Increased attention to womens health research has yielded gains on some important conditions, but progress lags on others
9. 70 percent of women likely to experience sexual problems after breast cancer
10. UN Summit launches drive to save lives of more than 16 million women and children
11. Freshman weight gain: Women with heavy roommates gain less
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... StatRad , ... added Chris Hafey and Claude Hooton to its board of directors. The announcement ... America (RSNA) 2015 Annual Meeting and continues to strategically transform its focus from ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... With possible savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts ... every few hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November ... meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home ... stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... affecting the health care in America. As people age, more care is needed, ... costs are rising, and medical professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When ... said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting ... individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 3D bioprinting market ... to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising ... which demands kidney transplantation is expected to boost the market ... for organ transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting market ... to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI för ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) ... med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda ... sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera flera ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Italian ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: