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Study Shows Gum Disease Increases Risk Of Future Heart Disease

sents a damaged area in the heart. The transplanted bacteria can cause the valve to become infected, and the accumulated clumps can block blood vessels.

"Weve known for some time that oral bacteria can infect damaged hearts and that certain oral bacteria cause platelets to aggregate," Genco said. "We just recently put these findings together as a possible explanation of how bacteria that cause periodontal disease can also increase the risk for heart disease."

Genco has been following this population of American Indians since 1982, first as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health when severe periodontal disease was found among them, and then for a 10-year study of periodontal disease in diabetics. The new findings on the relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are part of that study.

Participating in the research were scientists from the UB Periodontal Disease Research Center, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the division of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix, Ariz.

The research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Public Health Service


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Contact: Lois Baker
baker@ubnews.buffalo.edu
716-645-2626
University at Buffalo
23-Mar-1997


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