Usefulness of Self-Reported Periodontal Disease to Identify Individuals with Elevated Inflammatory Markers at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

This research was originally published in 2008 by Heidi Mochari, MPH, RD, John T. Grbic, DMD, M Med Sc, Lori Mosca, MD, MPH, PhD.

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.


Periodontal disease has been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and inflammation may represent a common pathophysiology. Oral health screening in the context of CVD risk assessment represents a potential opportunity to identify persons at risk for CVD. The purpose of this study was to determine if self-reported oral health status is independently associated with inflammatory markers and if oral health assessment as part of CVD risk screening can identify at-risk persons without traditional CVD risk factors. A baseline analysis was conducted among participants in the NHLBI Family Intervention Trial for Heart Health (F.I.T. Heart) (n=421; mean age 48±13.5y; 36% nonwhite) without CVD or diabetes who underwent standardized assessment of oral health, lifestyle, CVD risk factors and inflammatory markers high sensitivity c-reactive protein (hsCRP) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). Statistical associations between oral health, risk factors and inflammatory markers were assessed and logistic regression was used to adjust for effects of lifestyle and potential confounders. Periodontal disease was independently associated with being in the top Lp-PLA2 quartile versus the lower three (OR=1.9; 95%CI=1.1–3.2) after adjustment for lifestyle and risk factors. History of periodontal disease was reported by 24% of non-overweight, non-hypertensive, non-hypercholesterolemic participants and among these participants, 37% had elevated hsCRP (≥ 3mg/L) or Lp-PLA2 (≥ 215ng/mL). In conclusion, self-reported periodontal disease is independently associated with inflammation and common in persons without traditional CVD risk-factors

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