Dentists can help to identify patients at risk of a heart attack

Nov 25, 2009

Dentists can help to identify patients who are in danger of dying of a heart attack or stroke, reveals a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy. Thanks to the study, six men who thought they were completely healthy were able to start preventive treatment in time.

"Dentists are really proud of their profession and feel no need to encroach upon doctors' territory," says senior dental officer and professor Mats Jontell at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "However, we wanted to find out if we as a profession could identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease."

The study involved 200 men and women over the age of 45 who did not have any known cardiovascular problems. During a routine visit to their normal dentists in Borľs and Gothenburg they were also checked out for known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"These risk factors are not normally manifested in the mouth, which is why the dentists went beyond their normal check-up routine," says Jontell. "They also took the patients' blood pressure and checked total cholesterol and blood sugar levels."

The risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease was calculated using a software known as HeartScore. The dentists felt that twelve men had a ten per cent risk of developing a fatal over the next ten years and advised them to see their . Six of the twelve were subsequently prescribed medication to lower their blood pressure.

"Dentists regularly see a very large percentage of the Swedish population, and if there is sufficient interest they could also screen for cardiovascular risk factors which, untreated, could lead to a or ," says Jontell.

More information: J Am Dent Assoc 2009; 140; 1385-1391

Source: University of Gothenburg (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola-hit Liberia delays school reopening

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is your heart aging faster than you are?

Nov 26, 2007

Despite the increasing evidence that managing high cholesterol reduces cardiovascular events, many people do not achieve recommended lipid levels. This is due, in part, to patients’ lack of understanding about their risk ...

Sex hormones link to heart risk

Sep 01, 2008

Men are more prone to – and likely to die of - heart disease compared with women of a similar age – and sex hormones are to blame, according to a new University of Leicester led study.

Recommended for you

Ebola-hit Liberia delays school reopening

3 hours ago

Liberia's education ministry said on Sunday it had postponed by two weeks the reopening of the country's schools, which were closed six months ago to limit the spread of the Ebola virus.

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

12 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.