Periodontitis strongly associated with premature birth, Finds study
According to recent research, it has been studied that periodontitis is associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of premature birth.
The study is published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Premature delivery is among the leading causes of perinatal mortality and morbidity in developed societies, which is an important obstetrics problem. Maternal periodontitis is a prevalent condition that has been suspected to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth.
However, there are still conflicting results about this possible relationship, therefore, Peace Uwambaye and colleagues from the Department of Preventive & Community Dentistry, University of Rwanda College of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Dentistry, Kigali, Rwanda conducted the present study to test the association between maternal periodontitis and premature birth.
The authors also provided information about a new screening tool recommended for use by nurses and midwives to screen for periodontal diseases during antenatal consultations in order to improve the health of mothers and children.
A retrospective case-control study was conducted at 12 health facilities in the Southern Province of Rwanda. A total of 555 women in the postpartum period were enrolled in the study. Cases and controls were enrolled in a ratio of 1:2; each enrolled case of preterm birth was followed by 2 unmatched control subjects that were next on the register and who delivered at term gestation.
A total of 185 cases of preterm deliveries and 370 controls of term delivery were enrolled in the study. Multivariate regression analysis was used and the independent variables were hierarchically entered in three groups: The first group involved demographic variables that were put in the regression model as Step 1. The second group was made up of other potential risk factors that were placed in the regression model as the second step. Periodontitis was entered in the final regression step, as it was hypothesized as the main predictor variable.
The results showed that there is a statistically significant association between periodontitis and premature birth. It was also found out that women who had periodontitis had 6 times the odds of giving birth to premature birth infants compared to women who had no periodontitis (OR: 6.360, 95% CI 3.9, 10.4).
Therefore, it was concluded that "periodontitis is strongly associated with premature birth. Preventive solutions including the use of a periodontitis screening tool for nurses and midwives during antenatal care consultations, are highly recommended."