Periodontitis Linked to Increased Risk of AF in Japanese Study

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Researchers have newly discovered a correlation between periodontitis and fibrosis scarring to an appendage of the heart’s left atrium that can lead to atrial fibrillation (AF). This was found to be the case in a sample of 76 patients who have cardiac disease.

Periodontitis, an advanced type of gum disease, can often cause various dental issues, including bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth loss. Additionally, research suggests periodontitis may also be linked to more severe health issues, such as those related to the heart.

“Periodontitis is associated with a long-standing inflammation, and inflammation plays a key role in atrial fibrosis progression and AF pathogenesis,” say researchers from Hiroshima University (Higashihiroshima, Japan), as reported in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. These researchers hypothesised that periodontitis exacerbates atrial fibrosis, and in a histological study of left atrial appendages aimed to clarify the relationship between clinical periodontitis status and degree of atrial fibrosis. Why is this so important?

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Periodontitis linked to increased risk of AF in Japanese study