Study suggests causal link between tooth loss and heart disease
DUBAI, UAE: Though a relationship between edentulism and cardiovascular disease has been confirmed in previous studies, the causal association is less established. A study presented at the recent joint 2019 American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference and tenth Emirates Cardiac Society Congress, however, has found that adults who lose teeth in a non-traumatic manner may be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The event was held in Dubai from 3 to 5 October. For their study, the researchers conducted secondary analysis of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a mass survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US. The 2014 BRFSS included 316,588 participants between the ages of 40 and 79 from the US and its territories.
The research team’s analysis found that, overall, 8% of respondents were completely edentulous and 13% suffered from cardiovascular disease. However, only 7% of those with cardiovascular disease were not missing teeth, and 28% of this group were completely edentulous.
Furthermore, respondents who reported being partially edentulous were found to be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, even after adjustments were made for factors such as body mass index, age, race and alcohol consumption.
“If a person’s teeth fall out, there may be other underlying health concerns,” said Dr Hamad Mohammed Qabha, lead researcher and chief medical and surgical intern at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
“Clinicians should be recommending that people in this age group receive adequate oral healthcare to prevent the diseases that lead to tooth loss in the first place and as potentially another way of reducing risk of future cardiovascular disease,” he added.