Periodontitis May Increase Risk of Developing Dementia, Study Suggests

Forbes (3/17) contributor Robert Glatter, MD, states that "researchers in South Korea studied the relationship between chronic periodontitis and dementia over a 10 year period," finding those with "chronic periodontitis had a 6% higher risk for dementia compared to those without periodontitis," even "after controlling for behaviors such as smoking, consuming alcohol, and degree of physical exercise." Dr. Glatter says that although "the mechanism underlying this finding is unclear," and "it also may be a case of 'chicken vs egg,— the "research is important because it represents the first study to demonstrate that chronic periodontitis could be linked to a higher risk for dementia, even after taking lifestyle behaviors into account." The findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Meanwhile, CNN (3/14, Powell) stated on its website "that the rate of Americans who died from dementia has more than doubled from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000 to 66.7 in 2017," according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (3/14, Pirani) reported that CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said, "Early diagnosis is key to helping people and their families cope with loss of memory, navigate the health care system, and plan for their care in the future."

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