October 22, 2018
1 min read

Good periodontal health confers improved systolic BP with antihypertensive treatment

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Patients with good periodontal health had an improved systolic BP profile when treated with antihypertensives compared with those with poor periodontal health, according to a study published in Hypertension.

“Physicians should pay close attention to patients’ oral health, particularly those receiving treatment for hypertension, and urge those with signs of periodontal disease to seek dental care,” Davide Pietropaoli, DDS, PhD, fellow in the department of life, health and environmental sciences at University of L'Aquila in Italy, said in the press release. “Likewise, dental health professionals should be aware that oral health is indispensable to overall physiological health, including cardiovascular status.”

Researchers analyzed data from 3,626 patients from the 2009 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were older than 30 years and were being treated for hypertension.

Periodontal examinations were performed and patients were categorized by periodontitis severity: none (47.8%; mean age, 63 years; 40% men), mild (2.9%; mean age, 57 years; 46% men), moderate (37.8%; mean age, 64 years; 51% men) and severe (11.5%; mean age, 63 years; 62% men). Arterial BP measurements were also taken during the study.

Patients with periodontitis who were treated for hypertension had an unadjusted raw mean systolic BP about 2.3 mm Hg higher compared with those without periodontitis (133.43 mm Hg vs. 131.17 mm Hg; P < .001). The difference between the two groups increased to about 3 mm Hg after adjustment (P < .001).

Compared with patients free from periodontitis, those with the disease had about a 20% increased risk for unsuccessful antihypertensive treatment (OR = 1.2; 95% CI, 1.03-1.39) except when C-reactive protein was included in the model (OR = 1.19; 95% CI, 0.91-1.54).

Patients with moderate to severe periodontitis had poorer BP control vs. those with mild periodontitis.

“Together with lifestyle measures, periodontal therapy may contribute to a certain degree to BP lowering, potentially limiting the need of additional drugs,” Pietropaoli and colleagues wrote. – by Darlene Dobkowski

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.