BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Periodontal disease (PD) is believed to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Nevertheless, the additive prognostic value of PD for the prediction of CVD events beyond traditional risk factors is unclear, particularly when self-reported using a short questionnaire.
METHODS: In the community-based, multicenter, prospective, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), PD was assessed at baseline using a two-item questionnaire. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to evaluate the independent associations between self-reported PD and coronary heart disease (CHD), CVD events, and all-cause death. In addition, the area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve (AUC) was calculated for each of the study endpoints, for models including traditional CVD risk factors alone and models including traditional CVD risk factors plus information on PD. Subgroup analyses were performed stratifying by age and tobacco use.
RESULTS: Among the 6640 MESA participants, high education level, high income, and access to healthcare were more frequent among individuals who self-reported PD. In multivariable analyses, null associations were observed between self-reported PD and incident CVD events, CHD events, and all-cause mortality; and self-reported PD did not improve risk prediction beyond traditional CVD risk factors in terms of AUC, for any of the three study endpoints. Subgroup analyses were consistent with the overall results.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the prevalence of self-reported PD may be strongly influenced by educational status and other socioeconomic features. In this context, self-reported PD does not improve CVD risk assessment when evaluated using a brief questionnaire. Future studies should prioritize objective, dental health-expert assessments of PD.