Apical periodontitis and all-cause mortality among 60-70 year-old men

Mary McClory, Fionnuala Lundy, Lewis Winning, Gerry Linden, Ikhlas El Karim

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


To determine whether apical periodontitis (AP) was predictive of all-cause mortality in a cohort of 60-70 year-old men In Northern Ireland enrolled in the Prospective Epidemiological Study of Myocardial Infarction (PRIME) study.

The periapical status was assessed from dental orthopantomograms (OPT) using the periapical index (PAI; Ørstavik et al. 1986). A PAI score of 3-5 was equated with AP. Men with AP were divided into a HIGH (> 25% readable teeth with AP) and a LOW (
The average age of the 1361 men at the baseline was 64.2 (SD 2.9) years, and 441 (32.4%) died during 15.4 (SD 4.1) years of follow-up. There were 152 men with HIGH AP related to teeth that had not been root filled and they had on average 3.2 (SD 1.6) such teeth with AP. 69 (45.4%) of these men died compared with 372 (30.8%) of 1208 men in the LOW AP group, Chi-square = 13.13, p=0.0003. The unadjusted OR for a man in the HIGH AP group to have died compared with the LOW group was 1.87 (95% CI 1.33-2.63). The OR attenuated to 1.61 (95% CI 1.11-2.34), p=0.012 after adjustment for age, smoking, body mass index (BMI), Socio-economic status (SES), education status and pattern of dental attendance. The comparable unadjusted OR for root filled teeth was 1.40 (95% CI 0.57-3.46), p=0.46.

The men in this prospective study with high levels of apical periodontitis related to teeth that were not root filled were at an increased risk of death.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue numberSpec IssB
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2021
EventIADR Irish Division Spring Meeting - virtual, online
Duration: 05 Feb 202105 Feb 2021


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