Seniors with Gum Disease Lose Weight

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

A 2-year study of 1053 individuals ?65 years of age linked periodontal disease with an increased prevalence of weight loss in older adults. Also, the study found that the more extensive the disease was the greater the weight loss was, as the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (April 2004).

The researchers assessed the severity of periodontal disease in relation to attachment loss between teeth and gums, the extent of bleeding on probing, and inflammation of the gums. Overall, "weight loss of at least 5% occurred in 140 (13.4%) members of the study population," the investigators said. Furthermore, the results showed that seniors with periodontal disease were 53% more likely to have experienced weight loss, compared with individuals with healthy gums and teeth.

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