Research Article| Volume 56, ISSUE 7, P694-700, July 2003

Total tooth loss and prevalent cardiovascular disease in men and women

Possible roles of citrus fruit consumption, vitamin C, and inflammatory and thrombotic variables


      Background and Objective: Tooth loss has been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the mechanisms are unclear. We evaluated the association of total tooth loss with prevalent CVD in men and women; as well as with citrus fruit consumption, plasma vitamin C, and inflammatory and thrombotic variables.
      Methods: We used an age-and sex-stratified population survey, of men and women aged 25–74 years, in North Glasgow.
      Results: Thirty-eight percent of women and 29% of men were edentulous. Total tooth loss was associated with prevalent CVD in both sexes. After adjustment for major potential confounders (age, sex, smoking, and social class), the odds ratio (95% CI) for prevalent CVD was 1.55 (1.13, 2.13) in the edentulous. Total tooth loss was also associated with low citrus fruit consumption and low plasma vitamin C levels, increased plasma C-reactive protein in men, and with increased plasma interleukin-6, fibrinogen, and factor VIII levels in women.
      Conclusion: Prevalent CVD is associated with total tooth loss. Possible mechanisms include low intake of citrus fruit, and hence, low plasma vitamin C levels, and a predisposition to low-grade inflammation and thrombosis. It may be prudent to ensure adequate vitamin C intake in people with no teeth.


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