ScienceDaily — Investigators from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Puerto Rico asked “Is there a prospective association between obesity and periodontal disease?”
They evaluated the association between different measures of obesity and risk of periodontal disease. They analyzed data from 36,903 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were free of reported periodontal disease at the start of follow-up, and we followed them for up to 16 years (1986-2002).
Height was assessed at the start of follow-up, and weight and self-reported periodontal disease data were collected at baseline and on follow-up questionnaires mailed every two years.
Measures of central obesity were made by waist and hip circumference through self-assessed measurements and reported in 1987 with the aid of printed instructions and a tape measure. Self-reported periodontal disease and adiposity measures had been previously validated.
They evaluated the effect of body mass index (BMI kg/m2), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), on first report of periodontal disease diagnosis.
These results provide the first evidence following a large group of people over time with clear evidence of obesity occurring prior to periodontal disease, and support an association between obesity and risk of periodontal disease. Given the high prevalence of obesity and periodontal disease, this association may be of substantial public health importance.
This is a summary of abstract #2913, “Is There a Prospective Association between Obesity and Periodontal Disease?”, by M. Jimenez et al., of the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Puerto Rico, presented on April 4, 2009, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, during the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.