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Periodontal disease could decrease kidney function in African-Americans

By Dental Tribune International
November 30, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, USA: New research has shown that African-Americans who suffer from the severe form of periodontal disease have a more than fourfold risk of developing chronic kidney disease than those without severe periodontal disease. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 2 adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease, with African-Americans being disproportionally affected.

A number of earlier studies documented the effect of ethnicity on periodontal health status and found, for instance, that African-Americans were twice as likely to have periodontal disease compared with white Americans.

In the current study, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed data from 699 African-American adults who had undergone complete dental examinations. During an average follow-up period of 4.8 years, they found that participants with severe periodontal disease had a 4.2-fold greater incidence of chronic kidney disease compared with patients without severe periodontal disease.

"Because periodontal disease is common and can be prevented and treated, targeting it may be an important path towards reducing existing racial and ethnic disparities in chronic and end-stage kidney disease," said Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, an assistant professor at the university's School of Medicine.

Grubbs presented the study, titled "The Association Between Periodontal Disease and Kidney Function Decline in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study," during Kidney Week 2014, one of the largest nephrology meetings, organized by the American Society of Nephrology. It was held from Nov. 11 to 16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

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