Subgingival microbial diversity and respiratory decline: A cross‐sectional study

Lewis Winning*, Gary Moran, Mary McClory, Ikhlas El Karim, Fionnuala T. Lundy, Christopher C. Patterson, Dermot Linden, Kathy M. Cullen, Frank Kee, Gerard J. Linden

*Corresponding author for this work

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To investigate whether there is an association between subgingival microbial diversity and reduced respiratory function.

Materials and Methods
A group of dentate 58–72-year-old men in Northern Ireland had a comprehensive periodontal examination including subgingival plaque sampling. DNA was extracted from plaque samples and the V1–V3 regions of the 16S rRNA gene were analysed by high-throughput sequencing and a microbial diversity index (MDI) was derived. Spirometry measurements were made using a wedge bellows spirometer. The primary outcome variable of interest was the percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (% predicted FEV1). Analysis included multiple linear regression with adjustment for various confounders.

Five-hundred and seven men were included in the analysis. The mean age was 63.6 years (SD = 3.1). Of these, 304 (60.0%) men had no or mild periodontitis, 105 (20.7%) had moderate periodontitis and 98 (19.3%) had severe periodontitis. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that a one unit increase in MDI was associated with a 0.71% loss (95% confidence interval: 0.06%–1.35%; p = .03) in % predicted FEV1 after adjustment for all confounders.

In this group of dentate men from Northern Ireland, subgingival microbial diversity was associated with reduced respiratory function.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Early online date13 Apr 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 13 Apr 2023


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • periodontitis
  • respiratory function
  • subgingival microbiome


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