Dental Tribune America

Interleukin Genetics to study impact of genetic test for periodontal disease

By Dental Tribune International
March 30, 2016

WALTHAM, Mass., USA: Interleukin Genetics, a U.S. company that develops and markets a line of genetic tests for chronic diseases and health-related conditions, has announced that it will conduct a clinical study to assess the impact of its PerioPredict Genetic Risk Test on dental patient engagement for greater preventive dental care. The study will build on the company’s evidence base in support of the medical and economic value of the PerioPredict genetic testing platform.

According to Interleukin Genetics, the clinical study, which is expected to begin on May 1, will include 800 dental patients from 20–30 general dentistry clinics who routinely visit their dentist only once a year although they are entitled to two visits a year by their insurance coverage. The overall aim of the study is to assess whether knowing their increased risk of developing severe periodontal disease owing to a genetic tendency to overproduce inflammation might influence the frequency of preventive care visits for these patients.

“Given the role of inflammation in many chronic diseases, PerioPredict test results may serve as a powerful motivator for an individual to engage and take action to increase preventative dental care, which has been associated with substantial reduction in the cost of managing several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease,” said Mark Carbeau, CEO of Interleukin Genetics. “We believe this study will provide further evidence in support of the clinical utility of PerioPredict, and are excited to be collaborating with such accomplished scientists from prominent, forward-thinking institutions in this effort.”

The PerioPredict test was introduced about two years ago. It can predict a patient’s susceptibility to severe periodontal disease by measuring variations in genes for interleukin-1, a key mediator of inflammation. The test can be performed chairside by a dental professional during a routine visit in less than a minute. The swab samples are then sent to the Interleukin Genetics laboratory for analysis, and the test results are returned to the dentist in about two weeks.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common chronic inflammatory diseases in developed countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 47 percent of adults aged 30 and over in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease. As the condition progresses with age, an estimated 70 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 65 have periodontal disease. This condition is more common in men than in women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent) and has greater prevalence in current smokers (64.2 percent).

The study will be conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at Duke University and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in the U.S.

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