Periodontal Disease and Incident Venous Thromboembolism: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Periodontology





Periodontal disease is a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor but few studies have considered the relationship between periodontal disease and venous thromboembolism (VTE). We hypothesized that periodontal disease is independently associated with increased risk of incident VTE.

Materials and methods

We used data from 8,092 participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study to examine periodontal disease in 1996–1998 and incident VTE through 2011. Periodontal disease was determined using self-reported tooth loss due to gum disease and dental examinations. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios for VTE and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for relevant confounders.

Results and conclusions

Participants were on average 62.7 years old at baseline and 13.9% self-reported tooth loss from gum disease. Over a mean of 12.9 years of follow-up, there were 313 incident VTE events. Self-reported tooth loss due to gum disease was associated with 30% higher VTE risk (HR = 1.29 (0.96, 1.73) after adjusting demographic factors, SES, periodontal risk factors, oral hygiene, and access to dental care variables. No statistically significant associations between clinical measures of periodontitis and VTE were observed after adjustment. Further research is needed to elucidate whether a relationship between periodontal disease and VTE exists.