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Periodontitis Linked to Higher Systolic BP in Healthy Adults

MONDAY, March 29, 2021 -- In otherwise healthy individuals, periodontitis is associated with higher systolic blood pressure, according to a study published online March 29 in Hypertension.

Eva Munoz Aguilera, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues conducted a case-control study involving 250 cases with periodontitis and 250 controls without periodontitis to examine the correlation between periodontitis and mean arterial blood pressure in otherwise systemically healthy individuals.

The researchers found that compared with controls, cases presented with 3.36- and 2.16-mm Hg higher mean systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. Independent of common cardiovascular risk factors, periodontitis diagnosis correlated with higher mean systolic blood pressure (ß = 3.46 ± 1.25) and increased odds of systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg (odds ratio, 2.3). When continuous measures of periodontal status were modeled against systolic blood pressure, findings were similar. Although measures of systemic inflammation were elevated in periodontitis, they were not mediators of the correlation between periodontitis and arterial blood pressure.

"Integration of hypertension screening by dental professionals with referrals to primary care professionals and periodontal disease screening by medical professionals with referrals to periodontists could improve detection and treatment of both conditions to improve oral health and reduce the burden of hypertension and its complications," a coauthor said in a statement.

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