Maternal Periodontitis and Low Birthweight

Researchers in the department of health and socio-medical sciences, biostatistics unit, at the Faculty of Medi­cine, Alcalá University in Madrid, Spain, conducted a study to evaluate the association of low and very low birthweight with maternal periodontitis. The study, by authors Alessandra Neves Guimarães et al, was ac­cepted for publication in a future issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

The researchers examined 1,206 postpartum mothers. Two alternative criteria for the definition of periodontitis were used to observe the women, as follows: periodontitis definition one, 4 or more teeth with at least one site with probing depth (PD) ≥ 4 mm and clinical attachment loss (CAL) ≥ 3 mm; and periodontitis definition 2, at least one site with PD and CAL ≥ 4 mm. For each definition, 2 multivariate analyses were performed, as follows: (1) linear regression for birthweight; (2) ordinal logistic regression for birthweight, categorized as adequate (n = 1,046); low-birthweight (n = 145); and very low-birthweight (n = 15).

The authors of this study found that linear regression showed that maternal periodontitis was associated with a decrease in mean birthweight (periodontitis definition one: P = .027; periodontitis definition 2: P = .003). Ordinal logistic re­gression (OR) showed that maternal periodontitis was associated with low- and very low birthweight (OR = 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.39–2.90, when considering periodontitis definition 2) and with low birthweight (OR = 1.65; 95% CI 1.15–2.36, when considering periodontitis definition one).

The study concludes that maternal periodontitis was associated with a decrease in mean birthweight as well as with low and very low birthweight.

(Source: Journal of Clinical Periodontology, accepted for publication on August 8, 2012; doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12000; 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S)


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