Women’s leading cause of death and how to cut YOUR risk by 1/3
A study of nearly 7,000 people, aged 44-88 years, who were enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study at University of California at Berkeley, has revealed a simple method to decrease a woman’s risk of death. The leading cause of death for American women is … heart attacks, stroke and other types of cardiovascular disease. Surprised that it is not cancer? An average American woman is 10-times more likely to die of heart disease or stroke than breast cancer!
This report, published in the journal Health Economics on September 29, 2010, suggests that women who receive dental care reduce their risk of cardiovascular problems by at least one-third. The analysis compared people who went to the dentist during the previous two years with those who did not. The findings add to a growing body of research linking oral and cardiovascular health.
“Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a causal way,” said study lead author Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.
Data from the Health and Retirement Study had been collected every two years from 1996 to 2004. This longitudinal study followed the same individuals over time, and each biennial survey included questions on whether subjects had visited the dentist and whether they had experienced a heart attack, stroke, angina or congestive heart failure during the prior two years. Deaths from heart attacks or strokes were also included in the analysis. The study took into account other risk factors, such as alcohol and tobacco use, high blood pressure and body mass index.
The study authors suggest that for dental care to have a protective effect in women, it should occur early in the development of cardiovascular disease. The researchers did not have data on the type of procedures used during the dental visit, but other studies that indicated that most older adult dental visits involved preventive services, such as examinations and cleanings. Oral health experts recommend twice-yearly visits to the dentist, as well as brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Those wearing dentures should make sure they stay clean to prevent the growth and buildup of plaque and bacteria.
So, while you are thinking about cutting down on calories, salt and fat in your diet, exercising and controlling your blood pressure to improve your heart health, don’t forget a simple tip to cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by 33% – see your dentist! And don’t forget to SMILE!
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal Disease and Dementia
Periodontal Disease involves the gums and supporting bony tissue of the teeth. Did you know that 80% of U.S. adults have it? Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. More adults lose their teeeth from gum disease than from cavities. Certain conditions of the body, such as smoking and diabetes, can lead to severe periodontal disease and bone loss in the jaw. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart attacks and stroke, and now dementia!
Periodontitis is associated with cognitive impairment among older adults: analysis of NHANES-III
J M Noble,1,2,3 L N Borrell,4 P N Papapanou,5 M S V Elkind,3,6 N Scarmeas,1,3 C B Wright7
Background: Periodontitis is ubiquitous and associated with serological evidence of exposure to periodontal organisms, systemic inflammation and vascular disease. Dementia is a major public health problem likely related to a complex interaction between genetics and diseases associated with systemic inflammation, including diabetes, smoking and stroke.
Methods: To assess relationships between systemic exposure to periodontal pathogens and cognitive test outcomes, data were analysed from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III), a nationally representative cross sectional observational study among older adults. We included 2355 participants >60 years who completed measures of cognition and Poryphyromonas gingivalis IgG. Using SUDAAN, logistic regression models examined the association of P gingivalis IgG with cognitive test performance.
Results: Poor immediate verbal memory (,5/9 points) was prevalent in 5.7% of patients, and 6.5% overall had impaired delayed recall (,4/9); 22.1% had difficulty with serial subtractions (,5/5 trials correct). Individuals with the highest P gingivalis IgG (.119 ELISA Units (EU)) were more likely to have poor delayed verbal recall (OR 2.89, 95% CI 1.14 to 7.29) and impaired subtraction (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.11) than those with the lowest ((57 EU), with dose–response relationships for both (p trend, delayed memory=0.045, subtraction=0.04). After adjusting for socioeconomic and vascular variables, these relationships remained robust for the highest P gingivalis IgG group (delayed verbal memory OR 3.01 (95% CI 1.06 to 8.53); subtraction OR 2.00 (95% CI 1.19 to 3.36)). In contrast, immediate verbal memory was not significantly associated with P gingivalis.
Conclusion: A serological marker of periodontitis is associated with impaired delayed memory and calculation. Further exploration of relationships between oral health and cognition is warranted.
The complete article can be found at J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry-2009-Noble-1206-11