A new study has found that periodontal (gum) disease could be an independent predictor of incident Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health conducted the study to look whether periodontal infections can contribute to the development of diabetes, as it is already known that diabetics are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, Science Daily reports.
They looked at 9,000 participants from the US and found that those who experienced higher-than-average incidences of gum disease were almost twice as likely to become diabetic during the 20-year timeframe.
Dr Ryan T Demmer, lead author, commented: "These data add a new twist to the association and suggest that periodontal disease may be there before diabetes."
"We found that over two decades of follow-up, individuals who had periodontal disease were more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life when compared to individuals without periodontal disease," he added.
Previous research has found that people with gum disease are also more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
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