in Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Health & Medicine, News Releases
April 2nd, 2008

Contact: Jackie Rubin, 617/638-4892 |

BOSTON – Boston University researchers show conclusively periodontal disease is a risk factor for coronary heart disease in men less than 60 years-old independent of established cardiovascular risk factors in a study released April 1 in Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association.

“This is the first study to find a significant association between chronic periodontitis and the risk of coronary heart disease, even after adjusting for important confounding factors,” says Dr. Thomas Dietrich, associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and one of the study’s authors.

Researchers took into account factors including age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol intake, cholesterol, and blood pressure in 1,203 men in the Veterans Administration Normative Aging and Dental Longitudinal Studies. The men received comprehensive medical and dental examinations every three years for up to 35 years.

The full text of the study, “Age-Dependent Associations Between Chronic Periodontitis/Edentulism and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease,” is available online at

The research was supported by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

The mission of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine is to provide excellent education to dental professionals throughout their careers; to shape the future of dental medicine and dental education through research; to offer excellent health care services to the community; to participate in community activities; and to foster a respectful and supportive environment.

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