New research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that coronary heart disease patients with no teeth have almost double the risk of death as compared to patients with all of their teeth.
The study was conducted with 15,000 patients from 39 countries. Findings show that levels of tooth loss were linearly associated with increasing death rates.
Lead author Dr Ola Vedin, cardiologist at Uppsala University Hospital and Uppsala Clinical Research Center in Uppsala, Sweden explain that the relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease has received attention over the last twenty years but the extent of the association has not been sufficiently investigated.
This particular study is the first of its kind to assess the relationship between tooth loss and outcomes in CHD patients. Study participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity etc. In addition, their psychosocial factors and number of teeth in five categories (26-32, 20-25, 15-19, 1-14 and none) were also assessed. All patients were followed up for 3.7 years. Association between tooth loss and outcomes were calculated after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors as well as socioeconomic status. The primary outcome for the study was major cardiovascular events.
At follow up, 1543 major cardiovascular events occurred, 705 cardiovascular deaths, 1120 deaths from any cause and 301 strokes. Every increase in category of tooth loss was associated with a 6 percent increase in the risk of major cardiovascular events, 17 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular death, 16 percent increase in the risk of all-cause death and 14 percent increase in the risk of stroke. Patients with no teeth had a 27 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events, 85 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death, 81 percent increased risk of all-cause death and 67 percent increased risk of stroke. In addition, there was a 7 percent increased risk of myocardial infarction for every increase in tooth loss but this was not significant. These results were after adjusting for risk factors and socioeconomic status.
"The risk increase was gradual, with the highest risk in those with no remaining teeth," said Dr Vedin. "For example the risks of cardiovascular death and all-cause death were almost double to those with all teeth remaining. Heart disease and gum disease share many risk factors such as smoking and diabetes but we adjusted for these in our analysis and found a seemingly independent relationship between the two conditions."
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