People with gum disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a study published today in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Senior author Professor Francesco D’Aiuto of UCL Eastman Dental Institute, UK, said: “We observed a linear association—the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension. The findings suggest that patients with gum disease should be informed of their risk and given advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure such as exercise and a healthy diet.”
High blood pressure affects 30-45% of adults and is the leading global cause of premature death, while periodontitis affects more than 50% of the world’s population. Hypertension is the main preventable cause of cardiovascular disease, and periodontitis has been linked with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Regarding potential reasons for the connection between the conditions, gum disease and the associated oral bacteria lead to inflammation throughout the body, which affects blood vessel function. Common genetic susceptibility could also play a role, along with shared risk factors such as smoking and obesity.
For Detail of Study: Aguilera EM, Suvan J, Buti J, et al. Periodontitis is associated with hypertension. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cardiovasc Res. 2019.DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvz201
Journal information: Cardiovascular Research
Provided by European Society of Cardiology