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Gum Disease Quadruples Kidney Disease Risk in Blacks. Study

Update Date: Nov 14, 2014 11:09 PM EST

Gum disease quadruples the risk of kidney disease in African Americans, according to a new study.

After comparing blacks with normal kidney function to those with severe periodontal disease, researchers found that those with periodontal disease were four times more likely than those without the oral condition to develop chronic kidney disease.

Researchers note that periodontal disease, or gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the oral cavity. Previous studies have linked the condition to chronic kidney disease,

Lead researcher Dr. Vanessa Grubbs and her team from the University of California, San Francisco analyzed data from 699 African American adults who underwent complete dental checks.

The findings revealed that participants with severe periodontal disease were 4.2 more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. This was true even after researchers adjusted for variables like age, sex, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and income.

"Because periodontal disease is common and can be prevented and treated, targeting it may be an important path towards reducing existing racial and ethnic disparities in chronic and end-stage kidney disease," Grubbs said in a news release.

The findings will be presented at American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2014 November 11¬-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

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