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Extent of Tooth Loss and Heart Disease Linked

Researchers find association regardless of smoking status

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Tooth loss is associated with heart disease, and the more teeth that are missing in a given population, the greater the prevalence of heart disease, according to findings reported in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Catherine A. Okoro, M.S., and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, analyzed data from 41,891 adults aged 40 to 79 years in 22 states and the District of Columbia, who were surveyed by telephone.

The heart disease prevalence in participants who reported having all of their teeth was 5.3%. However, the prevalence was 6.8% in those missing one to five teeth, 10.2% in those missing six to 31 teeth, and 11.5% in those missing all their teeth. Smoking status, diabetes, alcohol consumption, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and body mass index had little effect, the researchers report.

"Tooth loss is associated in a consistent and graded fashion with the self-reported prevalence of heart disease," Okoro and colleagues conclude. "Health promotion counseling should include the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease risk factors and the maintenance of good oral health."

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