The prevalence of calcified carotid artery atheromas on the panoramic radiographs of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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ObjectiveType 2 diabetes mellitus, which afflicts 15 million Americans, is associated with accelerated cervical carotid artery atherosclerosis and a heightened risk of stroke. This study attempted to determine the prevalence of calcified atherosclerotic lesions in a group of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.Study designThe panoramic radiographs of 49 men (age range, 55 to 81; mean age, 66.2 years) receiving routine dental treatment and insulin for diabetes at a Department of Affairs Veterans clinic were evaluated for calcified atheromas. Age-match controls, free of diabetes, were assessed in a like manner. Statistical comparison of the atheroma prevalence rates was by means of the Fisher exact test, and statistical comparison of atherogenic risk factors was by means of t test with Bonferroni adjustment and, where necessary, the Mann-Whitney U test.ResultsThe radiographs of the diabetics (mean age, 66.9 years) revealed that 20.4% had atheromas whereas those of the controls (mean age, 68.1 years) demonstrated that 4% had atheromas (a statistically significant difference;P = .0275). Also statistically significant was the prevalence of atherogenic risk factors (plasma glucose, Iow density lipoproteins, and serum triglycerides) identified in the diabetic group. The radiographic appearance of the atheromas manifested by both groups of individuals, however, was similar, with the lesions located 1.5-2.5 cm inferior-posterior to angle of the mandible.ConclusionsPeople with type 2 diabetes have a greater prevalence of calcified atheromas on their panoramic radiographs than do nondiabetics. (Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2000;89420-4)

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