Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Relationship Between Oral And Cardiovascular Health

Date:
February 23, 2006
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
New research is reinforcing the longstanding belief that a connection exists between periodontal disease, or severe gum inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. According to Moise Desvarieux, MD, PhD, infectious disease epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health, the nature of the relationship is still unclear and patients cannot rely only on good oral hygiene as a way to reduce their risk for heart disease -- they must manage other risk factors for the disease as well.

New research is reinforcing the longstanding belief that a connection exists between periodontal disease, or severe gum inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. But according to Moise Desvarieux, MD, PhD, infectious disease epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the nature of the relationship is still unclear and patients cannot rely only on good oral hygiene as a way to reduce their risk for heart disease--they must manage other risk factors for the disease as well.

"It appears a relationship exists, but we don't know exactly what it is and if it is a causal relationship.Therefore, we can't make recommendations for people with periodontal disease in respect to cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Desvarieux, whose team studies periodontal disease in relation to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, "To reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, patients must manage all their risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, and weight."

Dr. Desvarieux, who coordinates the INVEST study, an NIH-funded study in Northern Manhattan, as well as the international network investigating the oral health-cardiovascular disease relationship, spoke today at the American Medical Association and American Dental Association media briefing, Oral and Systemic Health: Exploring the Connection, in New York City.

Most research to date has been specifically on the clinical level, explained Dr. Desvarieux. Using a manual probe, dentists measure for signs of periodontal disease, including gum inflammation, gum pocket depth, or spacing around each tooth and tooth-bone attachment loss and compare these data to ultrasound measurements of the carotid artery. If cholesterol or fatty buildup is detected on the wall of the artery, there's a good chance the patient has atherosclerosis, a direct link to future stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Desvarieux and a collaborative team including researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine and neurologists at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center, took this research one step farther.

"Our research brings in the microbiological factors that may connect the two diseases," explained Dr. Desvarieux. "We analyzed bacterial samples from the oral cavity, three of which are specifically associated with periodontal disease. We found that those patients with one or any combination of these three bacteria also had atherosclerosis."

He hypothesizes that the atherosclerosis may be a result of bacteria from gum infection entering the bloodstream, creating inflammation in other parts of the body. However, he cautions "Because both pieces of the puzzle were being measured simultaneously, we don't know which came first and we can't say whether the relationship is causal."

He continued "Further research is needed. We need to follow these patients over the course of their lives and see whether those with the highest levels of the gum disease bacteria end up having more heart attacks and strokes than the others."

"If we determine that there is a causal relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, patients at risk will have to manage their oral health in addition to their other risk factors. The periodontal disease-cardiovascular disease connection won't negate their diabetes, weight or smoking habit. Individually, each contributes to the disease and the more risk factors, the more likely that one will have an episode."

But Dr. Desvarieux stressed that even though the exact relationship has not been discovered, it doesn't mean patients should neglect their oral health. "It is hard for anyone to be against good oral health" he said. "If a causal relationship is found, you'll already be ahead of the game in regards to your heart health. If there is no relationship, you'll have a healthy mouth that will benefit your overall well-being."

###

About the Mailman School of Public Health
The only accredited school of public health in New York City, and among the first in the nation Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health provides instruction and research opportunities to more than 850 graduate students in pursuit of masters and doctoral degrees. Its students and more than 250 multi-disciplinary faculty engage in research and service in the city, nation, and around the world, concentrating on biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, population and family health, and sociomedical sciences. www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Study Shows Relationship Between Oral And Cardiovascular Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082229.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2006, February 23). Study Shows Relationship Between Oral And Cardiovascular Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082229.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Study Shows Relationship Between Oral And Cardiovascular Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223082229.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins