Although recent short-term cross-sectional studies have revealed that chronic periodontitis (CP) may be a risk factor for increased cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), systematic reviews and long-term longitudinal studies have provided less clear evidence regarding the relationship between CP and AD. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective cohort study using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan to determine whether patients with CP are at increased risk of developing AD.
We conducted a retrospective matched-cohort study using the NHIRD of Taiwan. We identified 9291 patients newly diagnosed with CP between 1997 and 2004. A total of 18,672 patients without CP were matched to the patient cohort according to sex, age, index year, co-morbidity and urbanisation level. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to evaluate the subsequent risk of AD.
Patients with CP had a higher prevalence of hyperlipidaemia, depression, traumatic brain injury and co-morbidities, as well as higher urbanisation levels, than those in the unexposed cohort (all p < 0.01). At the final follow-up, totals of 115 (1.24%) and 208 (1.11%) individuals in the CP exposed and unexposed groups, respectively, had developed AD. Patients with 10 years of CP exposure exhibited a higher risk of developing AD than unexposed groups (adjusted HR 1.707, 95% CI 1.152-2.528, p = 0.0077).
Our findings demonstrate that 10-year CP exposure was associated with a 1.707-fold increase in the risk of developing AD. These findings highlight the need to prevent progression of periodontal disease and promote healthcare service at the national level.