People with undetected diabetes run a higher risk of both heart attack and gum disease, a Swedish study finds.
The study, published in the Diabetes Care journal by Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, used 805 heart attack patients from 17 Swedish cardiology clinics and a control group of 805 people, who were then matched by age, sex and postal code.
The study participants gum health was assessed by x-rays and their glucose levels were tested through a blood sugar test.
Participants were divided into three categories: normal, reduced glucose tolerance and newly detected diabetes. Comparisons were made after adjustments for age, sex, smoking habits, education and civil status.
The study found that “it was roughly twice as common” for heart attack patients to have undetected glucose disorders like diabetes.
The study also found that undetected diabetes was linked to severe gum disease.
Researchers say the findings should “make diabetes specialists consider their patient’s dental health,” and a more collaborative approach to healthcare.