Periodontal disease and risk of myocardial infarction: the role of gender and smoking
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Background: Studies examining the association between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease have shown a consistent but weak to moderate relationship. Limited data have been reported in women and the role of smoking has not been fully clarified. Methods/Results: A population-based case–control study examining the association between periodontal disease (PD) and acute non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) was conducted in Erie and Niagara counties in Western New York State. Cases (574) were discharged alive from local hospitals with MI diagnosis. Controls (887) were county residents randomly selected from the NY State Department of Motor Vehicles rolls and Health Care Financing Administration files. Periodontal disease was assessed using clinical attachment loss (CAL). Among men (415 cases), the odds ratio (OR) of the association between mean CAL (mm) and MI, adjusting for the effects of age, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, and total pack-years of cigarette smoking was 1.34 (1.15–1.57). In women (120 cases), the corresponding OR was 2.08 (1.47–2.94). The estimate of this association among non-smokers, also adjusting for age, gender, BMI, physical activity, hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, and total pack-years of cigarette smoking, was 1.40 (1.06–1.86), while it was 1.49 (1.26–1.77) among smokers. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of an association between PD and incident MI in both genders. This association appears to be independent from the possible confounding effect of smoking.