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EFP and WHF release consensus report on links between periodontal and cardiovascular health

By Dental Tribune International
February 13, 2020

BRUSSELS, Belgium/GENEVA, Switzerland: Though various associations between periodontal health and cardiovascular health have previously been explored, a comprehensive analysis of this relationship has been absent—until now. The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) have published a consensus report asserting that there is strong epidemiological evidence demonstrating independent associations between severe periodontitis and cardiovascular disease.

The report is the result of the Perio and Cardio Workshop 2019, a meeting of more than 20 representatives from the EFP and WHF during which the latest research into links between the two chronic non-communicable diseases was discussed. Among its key findings were that patients with periodontal disease have a higher risk of suffering cardiovascular disease and that patients who already have both of these diseases are at a higher risk of suffering further cardiovascular complications.

“This workshop was a great opportunity for both cardiology and periodontal communities to review the scientific evidence behind these associations in a rigorous and unbiased manner,” commented Dr Mariano Sanz, professor and chair of periodontics at the Complutense University of Madrid and lead author of the consensus report.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Now that we are aware of the association between periodontitis and coronary heart disease, we need to emphasise risk factors such as smoking and poor diet,” added Dr Pablo Perel, senior science adviser at WHF and professor of clinical epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Centre for Global Chronic Conditions.

“People with periodontitis should be informed about cardiovascular risk. We need to move beyond disease silos and have a ‘person-centred’ approach, which is why we at WHF are proud to have joined forces with the EFP on this important issue,” concluded Perel.

As reported last year by Dental Tribune International, numerous studies have shown that non-traumatic tooth loss—the final outcome of periodontal disease—may lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This applies in particular to older people, who are more likely to possess a calcified carotid artery if they present with periodontitis.

The report, titled “Periodontal and cardiovascular diseases: Consensus report”, was published online on 3 February 2020 in Global Heart and on the same date in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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