Periodontitis May Increase Death Risk in Hemodialysis Patients

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Periodontitis is associated with increased risk of death among patients on long-term hemodialysis (HD), according to a study.

Li-Ping Chen, DDS, of Chang Gang Memorial Hospital, Chang Gang University, and colleagues studied 253 HD patients, of whom 102 died during six years of follow-up. Death occurred in 70.6%, 41.8%, and 24.0% of patients with severe, moderate, and mild or no periodontitis, respectively.

Compared with patients with mild or no periodontitis, subjects with moderate or severe periodontitis were at 39% and 83% increased risk of death, respectively, after adjusting for demographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, and selected laboratory values, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2011;57:276-282). Only severe periodititis was associated with a significant increase in death risk. Periodontitis was not associated with mortality.

“Periodontitis potentially is a treatable factor of chronic inflammation in hemodialysis patients,” the authors wrote. “Therefore, its diagnosis and management deserve better awareness.”

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