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News Europe

Dialysis can allow individuals to live productive and useful lives, even though their kidneys no longer work adequately. (Bild: Picsfive/Shutterstock)
Jul 18, 2014 | News Europe

Better oral hygiene could improve survival rates in dialysis patients

by Dental Tribune International

LUND, Sweden/AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands: Dialysis patients with poor oral health have a higher mortality risk, a Swedish study has found. The research findings corroborate a previous study that found a significant association between moderate to severe periodontal disease and cardiovascular mortality in this patient group.

“Our general finding was that dialysis patients who had either no teeth or bad teeth had a higher risk of all-cause mortality than those who did not, and the adjusted risk of cardiovascular mortality followed a similar pattern,” stated Dr Giovanni Strippoli, Senior Vice-President of Scientific Affairs and Chairman of the Diaverum Academy, who led the study.

As reported by www.medscape.com, the prospective cohort study involved 4,320 adults with end-stage renal disease randomly selected from European outpatient dialysis clinics administered by Diaverum, a renal care provider.

The oral health and oral habits of the subjects were examined by dental surgeons specialised in periodontology and oral diseases. Furthermore, data for total and cause-specific hospitalisations and mortality were analysed.

The researchers found that after 22 months 650 participants had died in total, 325 of whom had died from a cardiovascular event. Almost a quarter of the subjects had no teeth and their hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was 1.27 after adjustment for multiple potential confounders. Those with more than 14 decayed, missing or filled teeth had a hazard ratio for all-cause mortality of 1.46. Mortality rates were lower in patients who spent a minimum of 2 minutes a day on oral hygiene (0.81), changed their toothbrush at least every three months (0.79) and brushed their teeth (0.74). Those who flossed too had a mortality rate of 0.49.

Patients with good dental hygiene had better overall survival, the researchers concluded.

The research was recently presented at the 51st congress of the European Renal Association—European Dialysis and Transplant Association in Amsterdam.

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