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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

CASTALDI, José Luis; BERTIN, Marta Susana; GIMENEZ, Fabián  and  ROBERTO, Lede. Periodontal disease: is it a risk factor for premature labor, low birth weight or preeclampsia?. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.19, n.4, pp. 253-258. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006000400005.

OBJECTIVES: To determine if periodontal disease (PD) is a risk factor for premature labor, low birth weight, or preeclampsia, and to look for a potential association between the different clinical forms of PD and the obstetric results indicated. METHODS: This is an analytical, cross-sectional and prospective study of all women who gave birth in Dr. José Penna Hospital, in the city of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, between 1 February and 18 July 2003 and between 1 March and 31 May 2004. Women who met the inclusion criteria (being over 18 years old, having at least 18 teeth, not being diabetic, and having had children who survived labor) underwent a dental exam to look for hemorrhage when teeth were probed, loose teeth, or inflammation of the gums, and any loss of insertion was measured clinically. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated, and the results were adjusted according to smoking status and the presence or absence of anemia. RESULTS: A total of 2 003 births and 1 982 labor episodes were registered. In all, 420 women (21.2%) were excluded from the study because they did not meet the inclusion criteria or because no diagnostic exam could be carried out. Of the 1 562 women who were examined, 809 (51.8%) had at least one of the problems being sought; of these women, 274 (17.5%) had severe periodontal disease, and 535 (34.3%) had gingivitis. In all, there were 149 (9.5%) cases of premature labor; 161 (10.3%) cases of low birth weight, and 157 (10.0%) cases of preeclampsia. No association was noted between PD and premature labor (OR = 1.06; 95% CI: 0.74 to 1.50), low birth weight (OR = 1.05; 95% CI: 0.74 to 1.47), or preeclampsia (OR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.40). The risk of giving birth to an infant with low birth weight in the subgroup of women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day was greater among women who had severe PD than among those who had good oral health (OR = 3.81; 95% CI: 1.46 to 10.05; P = 0.001). Anemia was found to be a risk factor for low birth weight (OR = 1.74; IC 95%: 1.03 to 2.94; P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: No significant association was found between PD and premature labor, low birth weight, or preeclampsia.

Keywords : Periodontal diseases; labor; premature; birth weight; preeclampsia; Argentina.

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