Vitamin D and Calcium Intake and the Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in Postmenopausal Women
McLean-Plunkett, Elizabeth A.
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Background: Vitamin D (VitD) and calcium (Ca) are hypothesized to play important roles in reducing bone destruction in periodontal disease (PD). To our knowledge, we conducted the first large epidemiologic study investigating associations between PD, assessed by alveolar crestal height (ACH), and intake of these nutrients in aging women. Purpose: We investigated the cross-sectional association between intake of these nutrients and PD among 1,240 postmenopausal women in the Osteoporosis and Periodontal Disease (OsteoPerio) Study, an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHIOS). Methods: At WHIOS baseline (1994-1997), dietary and supplemental VitD (IU/day) and Ca (mg/day) intake were assessed using food frequency questionnaires and medication reviews. At OsteoPerio baseline (1997-2000), ACH was assessed from intraoral radiographs and used to define prevalence of any PD 941 (76%). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for PD by category of nutrient intake. ORs were adjusted for age, hormone therapy use (HT), education, smoking, race and flossing frequency. Results: No significant associations were observed between PD and total VitD intake (OR (95%) for quintile 5(high) vs. 1(low)=1.20 (0.79-1.82); p-trend=0.25) or total Ca intake (0.82 (0.53-1.26); p-trend=0.78). Results were similar when dietary and supplemental intakes were considered separately. Additionally, these findings did not differ by severity of PD (mild/moderate or severe PD). Associations were not statistically significantly modified by sunlight exposure, smoking, age, HT, current osteoporosis, or body mass index. Conclusions: In this sample of generally healthy postmenopausal women with relatively normal VitD and Ca intakes, neither of these nutrient exposures were associated with prevalent PD assessed using a measure of ACH.