A prospective cohort study on oral health and risks of dementia, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases
Forte, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Poor oral health might have systemic effects on the development of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammatory bowel diseases, through various pathways, e.g. affecting nutritional status and gut microbiome, or inducing a chronic inflammatory condition. We aim 1) to examine whether there is a link between poor oral health (such as periodontal disease, tooth loss and oral mucosal lesions) and risk of dementia; 2) to explore the association between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease risk; and 3) to explore the association between poor oral health and risk of inflammatory bowel diseases. The studies will be based on a population-based cohort study in which baseline examination of oral mucosal lesions was carried out in Uppsala County during 1973-74 . A total of 30,118 individuals, aged 15 or more residing in the area, were offered professional clinical examination and questionnaires. In the end, 20,333 accepted. The clinical examination was carried out in a dental chair with halogen light and dental mirrors. All lesions, persistent or new, were recorded. More details of oral information, such as remaining number of teeth and periodontal disease were collected as well. The questionnaire also contained participants life style factors. Using personal registration numbers, we plan to perform linkages to various health and demographic registers, including Total Population Register, Causes of Death Register, and the Patient Register to obtain information on date of emigration, date and causes of death, and hospital admissions for various diseases. Cox proportional hazards regression models will be used to estimate relative risks, adjusting for potential confounders. Our research program is of significant public health importance, as initiating relevant preventive program through improving oral health might be directly beneficial to people by reducing the risk of developing related chronic diseases.