Overweight and obesity predict time to periodontal disease progression in men


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding statement

  • None of the authors report any personal or financial conflict of interest.

  • The Dental Longitudinal Study and Normative Aging Study are components of the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center which is supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program. Dr Garcia was a recipient of a Veterans Affairs Career Development Award in Health Services Research from the VA Health Services Research and Development Service. This study was supported by National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research R01 DE019833 and K24 DE00419. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.


A. Gorman

School of Medicine

Boston University

72 East Concord Street


MA 02118, USA

E-mail: agorman@lifespan.org



To examine whether overweight and obesity indicators – body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and WC-to-height ratio – predict progression of periodontal disease in men.

Material and Methods

Participants were 1038 medically healthy, non-Hispanic, white males in the VA Dental Longitudinal Study who were monitored with triennial oral and medical examinations between 1969 and 1996. Periodontal disease progression in an individual was defined as having two or more teeth advance to levels of alveolar bone loss ≥40%, probing pocket depth ≥5 mm, or clinical attachment loss ≥5 mm after baseline. Extended Cox regression analyses estimated hazards of experiencing periodontal disease progression events due to overweight/obesity status, controlling for age, smoking, education, diabetes, recent periodontal treatment, recent prophylaxis, and number of filled/decayed surfaces.


Body mass index and WC-to-height ratio were significantly associated with hazards of experiencing periodontal disease progression events regardless of periodontal disease indicator. Adjusted hazard ratios for periodontal disease progression were 41–72% higher in obese men (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) relative to men with both normal weight and WC-to-height ratio (≤50%).


Both overall obesity and central adiposity are associated with an increased hazards of periodontal disease progression events in men.