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Tooth loss linked to CHD.

Loss of permanent teeth may raise the risk for coronary heart disease, and the risk could increase as the extent of tooth loss worsens, reported Catherine A. Okoro and her associates at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

Epidemiologic studies have shown a link between coronary heart disease (CHD) and tooth loss due to periodontal or other oral disease, but other studies have cast doubt on this association. Ms. Okoro and her colleagues assessed tooth loss and CHD prevalence using data from a surveillance study involving 41,891 people aged 40-79 years in the general U.S. population.

The rate of CHD was 4.7% in subjects who had all their natural teeth but was 5.7% in those who were missing 1-5 teeth, 7.5% in those missing 6-31 teeth, and 8.5% in those missing all of their teeth due to tooth decay or gum disease.

In addition, patients with CHD were more likely to be missing several teeth (29.4%) or all of their teeth (23.6%) than were people who didn't have CHD (17.6% and 10.1%, respectively). Like other local infections, periodontal infections are thought to raise systemic levels of inflammatory mediators and thus promote inflammation-associated atherosclerotic processes, the investigators said (Am. J. Preventive Med. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.07.006).

This study was not designed to identify any possible causal links between tooth loss and CHD. It is possible that the findings simply indicate that people who are more health conscious have better oral health and lower CHD risk, they noted.
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Title Annotation:CLINICAL CAPSULES; Coronary heart disease
Author:Moon, Mary Ann
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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