Although they are known to share pathophysiological processes, the relationship between periodontitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that periodontitis is associated with a greater risk of development of COPD, when smoking is taken into account. The analysis in a 5-y follow-up population-based cohort study was based on 900 community-dwelling Japanese adults (age: 68.8 ± 6.3 [mean ± SD], 46.0% male) without COPD aged 60 or older with at least 1 tooth. Participants were classified into 3 categories according to baseline periodontitis severity (no/mild, moderate, and severe). COPD was spirometrically determined by a fixed ratio of <0.7 for forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1 )/forced vital capacity (FVC) and by FEV 1 /FVC below the lower limit of normal. Poisson regression was used to calculate the relative risk (RR) of developing COPD according to the severity of periodontitis. The population attributable fraction (PAF) was also calculated. During follow-up, 22 (2.4%) subjects developed COPD. Compared with no/mild periodontitis subjects, a significantly increased risk of COPD occurred among severe periodontitis subjects (RR = 3.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 10.67), but no significant differences were observed between the no/mild and moderate categories (RR = 1.48; 95% CI, 0.56 to 3.90). After adjustment for potential confounders, including smoking intensity, the relationship between severe periodontitis and risk of COPD remained significant (RR = 3.51; 95% CI, 1.15 to 10.74). Likewise, there was a positive association of periodontitis severity with risk of COPD (P for trend = 0.043). The PAF for COPD due to periodontitis was 22.6%. These data highlight the potential importance of periodontitis as a risk factor for COPD.
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