Black people are more likely to have periodontitis than other races. Now an ongoing Swedish study has found that gum disease periodontitis is also much more common in first-time heart attack patients than in a group of healthy people
New research offers further evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease.
In this follow-up study, the researchers examined whether gum disease was associated with an increased risk of new heart problems in both heart attack survivors and healthy people of the same age and sex, and living in the same area.
“The risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event during follow-up was higher in participants with periodontitis, increasing in parallel with the severity. This was particularly apparent in patients who had already experienced a [heart attack],” study author Giulia Ferrannini says.
The researchers suspect that damage to the gum tissue in people with gum disease may allow germs to enter the bloodstream. “This could accelerate harmful changes to the blood vessels and/or enhance systemic inflammation that is harmful to the vessels,” Ferrannini adds.
In total, the study included nearly 1,600 participants with an average age of 62. Dental examinations between 2010 and 2014 showed that