Periodontitis and Plasma C-Reactive Protein During Pregnancy

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Periodontitis has been associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations in non-pregnant adults. We examined the relationship between periodontitis and CRP among women who provided dental radiographs and had blood collected during early pregnancy, excluding smokers and diabetic patients.


From Project Viva, an ongoing cohort study, we measured plasma CRP in 35 subjects with periodontitis (i.e., at least one site with ≥3 mm of alveolar bone loss) and a random sample of 66 periodontally healthy subjects matched on age and race/ethnicity. We performed linear regression analysis with log-transformed CRP levels as the outcome.


The mean (± SE) CRP level was 65% higher (95% confidence interval: 2%, 180% P= 0.06) in women with periodontitis (2.46 - 0.52mg/l) than in controls (1.49 ± 0.22mg/l), adjusting for factors related to CRP levels, including age, race/ ethnicity, pre-pregnancy body mass index, alcohol intake, education, income, and gestational age at blood collection.


These findings suggest that periodontitis may increase CRP levels in pregnancy. CRP could potentially mediate the association of periodontitis with adverse pregnancy outcomes. J Periodontol 2006;77:821-825.

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