BALTIMORE, March 11 (UPI) -- A new study has turned up a direct association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal bacteria.
The report says that older adults with higher proportions of four periodontal disease-causing bacteria in their mouths also tend to have thicker carotid arteries, a strong precursor of stroke and heart attack.
An investigative team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and Columbia University presented findings Friday at the 83rd General Session of the International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore.
This is the first report of a direct association between cardiovascular disease and bacteria involved in periodontal disease, inflammation of the gums that affects an estimated 200 million Americans.
The researchers collected an average of seven dental plaque samples from 657 subjects and will re-examine the same group in less than three years, to evaluate the progression of heart disease.