Aim: To study the role of serum cytokines tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) as potential mediators in the association between body weight and periodontal infection among an adult population.
Material and Methods: This study was based on a subpopulation of the Health 2000 Health Examination Survey, which included dentate non-diabetic, non-rheumatic subjects, aged between 45 and 64 years, who had never smoked and whose serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were analysed and whose periodontal status was clinically determined (effective n=425). The number of teeth with periodontal pockets of 4 mm or more and the number of teeth with periodontal pockets of 6 mm or more were used as outcome variables. Relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Poisson regression models.
Results: Serum IL-6, but not TNF-α associated with teeth with deepened periodontal pockets. Multivariate models showed that IL-6, but not TNF-α, could mediate the effect of body weight on periodontium.
Conclusion: In this population of non-diabetic and non-rheumatic subjects, who had never smoked, serum IL-6 was associated with periodontal infection. The results suggest that serum IL-6 could be one mediating factor that connects body weight and periodontal infection.