To investigate whether measures of obesity are associated with periodontitis.
A case-control study.
A nationally representative sample using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The sample included 2452 nonsmokers, aged 13 to 21 years, who received a periodontal examination and had complete information for age, sex, and smoking habits.
Skinfold thickness, weight, and waist circumference were examined as independent variables in logistic regression models. Final models were adjusted for sex, race/ethnicity, poverty index ratio, last dental visit, and self-reported calcium intake.
Main Outcome Measures
Cases were subjects with the presence of 1 or more periodontal sites with both a loss of tissue attachment of 3 mm and a probing depth of 3 mm (n = 111). Subjects who did not meet these criteria were classified as controls (n = 2341).
Total body weight and waist circumference were associated with periodontitis, but the association varied by age. Adolescents aged 13 to 16 years were not at increased risk of chronic periodontitis, while adolescents aged 17 to 21 years had an increased risk per 1-kg increase in body weight (adjusted odds ratio, 1.06 [95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.09]). Similarly, adolescents aged 13 to 16 years were not at increased risk for periodontal disease, while adolescents aged 17 to 21 years were at an increased risk of periodontal disease per 1-cm increase in waist circumference (adjusted odds ratio, 1.05 [95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.08]).
Periodontitis may follow patterns similar to other chronic conditions that originate early in life and are related to central adiposity.