Gender differences in the relation between number of teeth and systolic blood pressure

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BackgroundTooth loss predicts total and circulatory mortality. The reasons for the increased mortality in subjects with a low number of teeth may be related to enhanced atherosclerosis, elevated arterial pressure and more frequent hypertension. The present study was designed to investigate whether there is an association between the number of teeth and arterial pressure or hypertension.MethodsWe used data of 4185 adult subjects (2150 women) collected for the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania. The number of teeth was counted by trained and certified dentists. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg or use of antihypertensive medication. Multivariable analyses were adjusted for relevant confounders.ResultsThe adjusted mean (standard error) systolic blood pressure in men having 0–6 teeth was 149.6 mmHg (1.3 mmHg) compared to 142.6 mmHg (1.2 mmHg) in men having 27–28 teeth (P < 0.05). The adjusted odds for hypertension in men with 0–6 teeth compared to men with 27–28 teeth were 1.91 (95% confidence interval 1.21; 3.02, P < 0.05). In women no such relations were found.ConclusionThere is an inverse association between the number of teeth and systolic blood pressure and hypertension in men but not in women. The present findings partly explain the relation between tooth loss and mortality.

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