Heart and Gum Disease Linked by Gene: Study

Periodontitis patients should cut out risk factors, scientists say
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2009 3:25 PM CDT
Heart and Gum Disease Linked by Gene: Study
Researchers have found a genetic link between gum and heart disease.   (Shutterstock)

Scientists have identified a link between gum disease and heart disease, the BBC reports, finding the same genetic variation in a group of patients with heart disease and a group with severe periodontitis. “Now we know for sure that there is a strong genetic link, patients with periodontitis should try to reduce their risk factors … at an early stage,” said the head researcher.

The diseases share risk factors like smoking, obesity, and diabetes. An association between the ailments has long been observed, but the scientists confirmed the genetic connection, HealthDay News adds. “We hope that our findings will make it easier to diagnose the disease at an early stage, and … open the way to effective treatment before the disease can take hold,” the researcher noted. (More gum disease stories.)

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