- Community-dwelling individuals who had severe periodontal disease or had lost all of their teeth were more likely to develop dementia over the next few decades.
Why this matters
- The incidence and toll of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are high.
- During a median 18.4-year follow-up:
- Cumulative incidence of dementia: 19%.
- Incidence rate: 11.8 cases per 1000 person-years.
- In multivariate analysis using periodontally healthy participants as comparator, risk for dementia was elevated among:
- Participants with severe periodontal disease (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.47).
- Participants with edentulism (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.02-1.54).
- Findings were similar when considering competing risk for death.
- Results were much the same for combined outcome of dementia or MCI:
- Participants with mild/intermediate periodontal disease: risk ratio (RR): 1.22 (1.00-1.48).
- Participants with edentulism: RR, 1.90 (1.40-2.58).
- Association was stronger among participants younger than 62 years (P for interaction=.02).
- US multicenter, community-based longitudinal cohort study of 8275 adults with baseline mean age of 63 years (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study).
- Main outcomes: dementia, MCI.
- Funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Cognitive decline may have preceded periodontal disease.
- Disease status possibly changed over time.
- Findings may have been weakened by attrition.