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Changes in periodontal disease status impact the risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a recent study.

Periodontal disease can activate systemic inflammation, leading to the development of various cardiovascular disorders, including atrial fibrillation (AF) and may be a significant modifiable risk factor for AF. There is a lack of large-scale studies examining the relationship between periodontal disease status and AF. 

A Korean study published in the journal BMC Oral Health investigated the association between changes in periodontal disease status and the risk of developing AF in a nationwide general population.

Study Population

Data for over 1.25 million dental patients, obtained from the National Health Insurance Database of the Korean National Health Insurance Service, were analyzed in this longitudinal study. The patients were categorized into periodontal disease-free (34%), periodontal disease-recovered (19.7%), periodontal disease-developed (19%), and periodontal disease-chronic (27.3%) groups. The mean age was 42.09 years, and 72.9% were male.

Changes in Periodontal Disease Status Linked to the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation 

The median follow-up period was 14.3 years. During this period, a total of 25,402 (2.02%) cases of AF occurred. Kaplan–Meier survival curves with the log-rank test were used to assess the relationship between changes in periodontal disease status and the occurrence of AF. The participants demonstrated an altered risk of AF according to changes in periodontal disease status. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the association between changes in periodontal disease status and the risk of incident AF.

Risk Was Highest in Individuals With Persistent Periodontal Disease

The risk of AF development was highest in the periodontal disease-chronic group throughout the follow-up, followed by the periodontal disease-developed group, the periodontal disease-recovered group, and the periodontal disease-free group (p < 0.001).

Pairwise Comparisons Showed a Lower Risk Among the Periodontal Disease-Recovered Group Compared to Periodontal Disease-Chronic GFatrialroup

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In the multivariate analysis, the risk of AF was not significantly different between the periodontal disease-recovered group and the periodontal disease-free group. Further pairwise comparison showed that the periodontal disease-recovered group had a lower risk of AF than the periodontal disease-chronic group (HR: 0.97, p = 0.045).

Periodontal Disease-Developed Group Had a Higher Risk 

In the multivariate analysis, the risk of AF occurrence was higher in both the periodontal disease-developed (hazard ratio (HR): 1.03, p = 0.041) and periodontal disease-chronic (HR: 1.04, p = 0.019) groups compared to the periodontal disease-free group (p = 0.032). In pairwise comparison, the periodontal disease-developed group had a higher risk of AF than the periodontal disease-free group (HR: 1.04, p = 0.035).



Park, J., Lee, H., Kim, J., & Song, T. (2023). Association between periodontal disease status and risk of atrial fibrillation: a nationwide population-based cohort study. BMC Oral Health, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-023-03165-x