Written by University of California, Berkeley Monday, 04 October 2010 15:19
A new study led by a University of California, Berkeley, researcher could give women a little extra motivation to visit their dentist more regularly. The study suggests that women who get dental care reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by at least one third.
The analysis, which used data from nearly 7,000 people ages 44 to 88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, did not find a similar benefit for men.
Published online Sept. 29 in the journal Health Economics, the study compared people who went to the dentist during the previous two years with those who did not. The findings add to a growing body of research linking oral and cardiovascular health.
“Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a causal way,” said study lead author Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.