Introduction: Gum, or periodontal disease (PD) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We assessed the graded association of PD levels with incident ischemic stroke as well as the etiological stroke subtypes in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
Methods: PD was assessed by full-mouth periodontal measurements from 6 sites per tooth, in subjects without prior stroke and categorized into periodontal profile class (PPC). A Latent Class Analysis was used to identify 7 distinct PPCs using the entire cohort that included tooth level periodontal measurements and tooth loss. Stroke diagnoses were based on computer derived diagnosis medical record review and imaging confirmation. Classification required evidence of sudden onset of neurological deficit(s) lasting ≥24 hours. Strokes were classified according to etiology as thrombotic, lacunar, and cardioembolic subtypes.
Results: At the fourth ARIC visit (1996-1998), a cohort of 6711 subjects (mean age±SD=62.3±5.6, 55% female, 81% white and 19% African-American) were assessed for PD. A total of 299 incident ischemic strokes (47% thrombotic, 26% cardioembolic and 20% lacunar) occurred over a 15-year period. The seven levels of PPC showed a graded association with incident ischemic stroke as noted in the figure. Participants with mild PD (adjusted HR 1.9 95% CI 1.2-3.0), moderate PD group (adjusted HR 2.1 95% CI 1.2-3.5) and severe PD (adjusted HR 2.2 95% CI 1.3-3.8) had an increased risk of incident ischemic stroke, compared with participants without PD after adjustment for confounders (age, race, gender, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, LDL cholesterol, smoking and education). There were class specific associations noted between PD with cardioembolic and thrombotic stroke subtypes.
Conclusions: A graded association was noted between incident ischemic stroke and increasing levels of PPC. Further, we report class specific associations between PD with cardioembolic and thrombotic stroke subtypes.