Persistently raised C-reactive protein levels are associated with advanced periodontal disease

Gerard Linden, K. McClean, Ian Young, Alun Evans, Frank Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim was to investigate whether there was an association between periodontitis or tooth loss in a homogeneous group of 60-70-year-old Western European men and either a sustained high or low level of C-reactive protein (CRP).
Material and Methods: Men enrolled in a cohort study of cardiovascular disease in Northern Ireland were screened in 1990-1994 and rescreened in 2001-2004, when a periodontal examination was completed. High-sensitivity CRP was measured from fasting blood samples. There were 806 men with six or more teeth who had either a high level (>3 mg/l) or a lower level of CRP at both time points. Multivariate analysis was carried out using logistic regression with adjustment for possible confounders. Models were constructed with the CRP level as the outcome variable and various measures of periodontal status (low and high threshold periodontitis) or tooth loss as predictor variables. Confounders included in the analysis were known cardiovascular risk factors of age, smoking, diabetes, BMI and socioeconomic status.
Results: There were 67 men who had a high value of CRP (>3 mg/l) and 739 men who had a CRP value =3 mg/l at both time points. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for advanced periodontitis to be associated with high CRP was 3.62, p=0.0003. The association was somewhat attenuated but remained significant (OR=2.49, p=0.02) after adjustment for confounders. A high level of tooth loss was also associated with high CRP with an adjusted OR of 2.17, p=0.008. Low threshold periodontitis was not associated with the level of CRP.
Conclusion: There was an association between advanced periodontitis and elevated CRP levels as measured at two time points at a 10-year interval in the 60-70-year-old European males investigated. This association was adjusted for various cardiovascular risk factors. There was also an association between high levels of tooth loss and high CRP in the men studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
Early online date21 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • CRP
  • periodontal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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