Women Who Receive Dental Care Have Lower Heart Disease Risk

A recent article by Sarah Yang at University of California Berkeley suggests that women who receive dental care can reduce their risks of stroke, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular problems.

The study was published in the journal Health Economics in September 29, 2010 and examined data from men and women enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study. No link between men and dental care and their chance of cardiovascular events was found in this study. Nearly 7,000 people were in the study ranging from ages of 44 to 88.

The data in the Health and Retirement Study followed the same individuals over a period of time and surveyed them every two years with questions such as if they have visited the dentist and if they had experience any anginia (chest pain), stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure during the previous two years.

If you are wondering about why there is a difference between men and women in their regards to dental care and cardiovascular events, it is known that women who have estrogen has a protective effect against health disease. It is well known that men have much more testosterone than women and women have much more estrogen than men. Once women reach menopause around the age of 50 their estrogen levels decrease and thus their chances of cardiovascular events begin to increase and catch up to men.

This study helps to show that regular dental care is important for overall health and adds to the increasing research that links oral and cardiovascular health.

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