Association of Periodontal Disease and Edentulism with Hypertension Risk in Postmenopausal Women

Joshua H. Gordon, Michael J. Lamonte, Jiwei Zhao, Robert J. Genco, Thomas R. Cimato, Kathleen M. Hovey, Matthew A. Allison, Charles P. Mouton, Jean Wactawski-Wende

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Multiple cross-sectional epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between periodontal disease and tooth loss and hypertension, but the temporality of these associations remains unclear. The objective of our study was to evaluate the association of baseline self-reported periodontal disease and edentulism with incident hypertension. METHODS Study participants were 36,692 postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative-Observational Study who were followed annually from initial periodontal assessment (1998-2003) through 2015 (mean follow-up 8.3 years) for newly diagnosed treated hypertension. Cox proportional hazards regression with adjustment for potential confounders was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS Edentulism was significantly associated with incident hypertension in crude (HR (95% CI) = 1.38 (1.28-1.49)) and adjusted (HR (95% CI) = 1.21 (1.11-1.30)) models. This association was stronger among those <60 years compared to ≥60 years (P interaction 0.04) and among those with <120 mm Hg systolic blood pressure, compared to those with ≥120 mm Hg (P interaction 0.004). No association was found between periodontal disease and hypertension. CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that edentulous postmenopausal women may represent a group with higher risk of developing future hypertension. As such improved dental hygiene among those at risk for tooth loss as well as preventive measures among the edentulous such as closer blood pressure monitoring, dietary modification, physical activity, and weight loss may be warranted to reduce disease burden of hypertension. Further studies are needed to clarify these results and further elucidate a potential role of periodontal conditions on hypertension risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • blood pressure
  • edentulous
  • hypertension
  • mouth
  • periodontal diseases
  • postmenopause
  • prospective cohort study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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