Periodontal Disease Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, especially for smokers who quit within last 20 years


MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Periodontal disease is associated with increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Jo L. Freudenheim, Ph.D., from the University at Buffalo in New York, and colleagues followed 73,737 postmenopausal women without previous breast cancer in the Women's Health Observational Study to examine the correlation between periodontal disease and breast cancer. The correlations were stratified by smoking, as the oral microbiome of those with periodontal disease differs with smoking status.

The researchers identified a mean of 2,124 incident, invasive breast cancer cases after an average follow-up of 6.7 years. Overall, 26.1 percent of women reported periodontal disease, which was associated with increased risk of breast cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.03 to 1.26), especially among former smokers who quit within the previous 20 years (HR, 1.36; 95 percent CI, 1.05 to 1.77). A similar trend was observed among current smokers (HR, 1.32; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 2.11). For former smokers quitting within 20 years and current smokers, respectively, the population attributable fraction was 12.06 percent (95 percent CI, 1.12 to 21.79) and 10.90 percent (95 percent CI, 10.31 to 28.94) for periodontal disease.

"Periodontal disease, a common chronic inflammatory disorder, was associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, particularly among former smokers who quit in the past 20 years," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and oral hygiene industries.

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