Gum disease, tooth loss may increase postmenopausal women's risk of death

March 29, 2017, University at Buffalo

Gum disease and tooth loss may be associated with a higher risk of death in postmenopausal women but not increased cardiovascular disease risk, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the open access journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Loss of all natural teeth also was linked with an increased risk of death in , according to the study led by researchers at the University at Buffalo.

Periodontal disease, a of the gum and connective tissue surrounding the teeth, affects nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults 60 and older. The loss of all one's teeth, called edentulism, impacts about one-third of U.S. adults 60 and older and often results from periodontal disease.

"Beside their negative impact on oral function and dietary habits, these conditions are also thought to be related to chronic diseases of aging," said Michael J. LaMonte, PhD, study author and research associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Researchers analyzed the health information from the Women's Health Initiative program—a study of 57,001 women, 55 years and older.

"Previous studies included smaller sample sizes or had limited numbers of events for analysis. Ours is among the largest and focuses exclusively on postmenopausal women in whom periodontitis, total and cardiovascular disease is high nationally," LaMonte said.

In 6.7-year follow up of postmenopausal women studied, they found:

  • There were 3,589 cardiovascular disease events and 3,816 deaths.
  • History of periodontal disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.
  • Loss of all natural teeth was associated with a 17 percent higher risk of death from any cause. The risk of death associated with was comparable regardless of how often women saw their dentists.
  • Women who had lost their teeth were older, had more CVD risk factors, less education and visited the dentist less frequently compared to women with their teeth.

"Our findings suggest that older women may be at higher risk for death because of their periodontal condition and may benefit from more intensive oral screening measures," LaMonte said.

"However, studies of interventions aimed at improving periodontal health are needed to determine whether risk of death is lowered among those receiving the intervention compared to those who do not. Our study was not able to establish a direct cause and effect."

Explore further: Periodontal disease associated with increased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women

Related Stories

Periodontal disease associated with increased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women

December 21, 2015
Postmenopausal women with periodontal disease were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not have the chronic inflammatory disease. A history of smoking significantly affected the women's risk.

Estrogen therapy shown effective in reducing tooth and gum diseases in postmenopausal women

February 22, 2017
Estrogen therapy has already been credited with helping women manage an array of menopause-related issues, including reducing hot flashes, improving heart health and bone density, and maintaining levels of sexual satisfaction. ...

Postmenopausal women who smoked are more likely to lose teeth due to periodontal disease

March 1, 2013
Postmenopausal women who have smoked are at much higher risk of losing their teeth than women who never smoked, according to a new study published and featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Dental Association ...

Missing teeth predict cardiovascular events

June 5, 2015
Advanced tooth loss often indicates that a person has a history of inflammatory oral diseases. In an extensive cohort study, it was shown that tooth loss associate with future cardiovascular events, diabetes and death. The ...

Coronary heart disease patients with no teeth have nearly double risk of death

December 16, 2015
Coronary heart disease patients with no teeth have nearly double the risk of death as those with all of their teeth, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The study in more ...

Recommended for you

Effective drug delivery to heart with tannic acid

September 18, 2018
Typical methods of drug delivery to the heart require surgical procedures involving incisions in the chest wall and bones. To efficiently treat cardiovascular and related vascular diseases without surgery, a KAIST research ...

Daily low-dose aspirin found to have no effect on healthy life span in older people

September 16, 2018
In a large clinical trial to determine the risks and benefits of daily low-dose aspirin in healthy older adults without previous cardiovascular events, aspirin did not prolong healthy, independent living (life free of dementia ...

Financial incentives for cholesterol control may be cost-effective

September 14, 2018
A program that offered financial incentives to both patients and their physicians to control low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol could be a cost-effective intervention for patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease ...

Apple's smartwatch has a heart monitor now

September 13, 2018
There will soon be another way to monitor your heart—from your wrist.

3-D virtual simulation gets to the 'heart' of irregular heartbeats

September 12, 2018
In a proof of concept study, scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have successfully performed 3-D personalized virtual simulations of the heart to accurately identify where cardiac specialists should electrically destroy ...

Dairy consumption linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality

September 12, 2018
Dairy consumption of around three servings per day is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, compared to lower levels of consumption, according to a global observational study of over 130,000 ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.