HealthDay News — Among older women, periodontal disease history is associated with increased total cancer risk, and with increased risk of several specific types of cancer, according to a study published in the August 1 issue of Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Ngozi N. Nwizu, BDS, PhD, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 65,869 women ages 54 to 86 years. Periodontal disease information was obtained via self-report questionnaires, which were administered from 1999 to 2003; cancer outcomes were ascertained through September 2013.

The researchers identified 7,149 cancers during a mean follow-up of 8.32 years. There was a correlation for periodontal disease history with increased total cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 1.20); similar findings were seen in analyses limited to 34,097 never-smokers (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.22). Correlations were seen for breast (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.23), lung (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.51), esophagus (HR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.64 to 6.53), gallbladder (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.95), and melanoma skin cancers (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.48), while stomach cancer had a borderline association (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.94 to 2.67). 

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“Periodontal disease increases risk of total cancer among older women, irrespective of smoking, and certain anatomic sites appear to be vulnerable,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed financial ties to the health insurance and oral health industries.

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