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Dental health history could help identify heart risk
Updated: 11/26/2008 8:00:29 AM

Dental health history could help identify heart risk The connections between poor dental health and the risk of heart disease have been explored further in a new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital suggested that a physician could question patients about their dental health history in order to identify those at risk for cardiovascular disease.

In the study, more than 400 subjects who were genetically predisposed to heart disease were screened for a number of risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as questioned about their dental health.

The researchers found that one in four participants who did not have traditional risk factors had a history of gum disease and inflammation.

"Many people don't realize how oral health is often a predictor of one's overall health," commented co-author Dr John T. Grbic.

He stressed that for this reason "it's vitally important for people to have routine dental checkups" and speak with their dentist about their dental health.

Scientists have yet to uncover the exact relationship between dental health and cardiovascular health, but further research is underway.

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