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J Dent Res. 2003 Sep;82(9):713-8.

Oral health indicators poorly predict coronary heart disease deaths.

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Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, PO Box 41, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Risto.Tuominen@Helsinki.Fi


Several earlier studies have suggested that development of coronary heart disease (CHD) is causally related to oral infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between oral health indicators and CHD deaths. Out of a nationally representative sample, 6527 men and women aged 30-69 years participated in the health examination with a dental check. Detailed oral health data included caries, periodontal and dental plaque status, presence of remaining teeth, and various types of dentures. Over a mean 12-year follow-up, persons dying of CHD were older and more often smoked, had hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and only a basic education compared with other persons. In univariate analyses, several oral health indicators were associated with CHD deaths. Adjustment for the established CHD risk factors reduced all these associations to statistical non-significance. The associations between oral health indicators and CHD are mostly explained by confounding factors, particularly those relating to health behavior.

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