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Genetics may amplify negative impact of obesity on periodontal disease progression

By Dental Tribune International
August 29, 2016

BOSTON, USA: Studies have indicated that individuals with a high body mass index are more prone to developing periodontal disease than other people are. Being overweight or obese might also negatively affect one’s response to nonsurgical periodontal therapy. In line with these findings, a recently published study has suggested that overweight or obese patients, particularly men, carrying a certain genetic variant were at an even greater overall risk of developing periodontitis.

In order to evaluate whether specific patterns of interleukin-1 (IL-1) gene variants, which are known to affect periodontitis severity, influenced the association between obesity and subsequent periodontitis progression, DNA was collected from 292 men (aged 29–64 at entry). The participants had dental and anthropometric endpoints collected over multiple examinations, approximately every three years for up to 27 years.

The analysis showed significant interactions between IL-1 genetic variations and obesity-related traits in predicting periodontal disease progression. Participants who were both obese and IL-1-positive were 70 percent more likely to experience periodontal disease progression than those without these risk factors.

“This study provides further evidence that obese and over-weight patients who are IL-1 positive will benefit from more intensive dental management,” said Mark B. Carbeau, CEO of Interleukin Genetics. “Based on these findings we are including expanded education and engagement tools for this high risk population into our product,” he added.

The study was conducted at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in collaboration with Interleukin Genetics, a life science company specializing in the genetics of chronic inflammation. It develops and markets a line of genetic tests for chronic diseases and health-related conditions, such as PerioPredict, a genetic test for periodontal disease susceptibility that was introduced in 2013.

The study, titled “Influence of obesity on periodontitis progression is conditional on IL-1 inflammatory genetic variation,” was published online on Aug. 19 in the Journal of Periodontology, an official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology.

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