The association between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and oral bacteria among postmenopausal women
Sahli, Michelle W.
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Background: Studies have found an association between 25(OH)D concentrations and periodontal disease, which may be explained in part by vitamin D's antimicrobial properties. To our knowledge, no study has investigated the relationship between 25(OH)D and the prevalence of pathogenic oral bacteria, a putative cause of periodontal disease. Purpose: We examined the cross-sectional (1997-2000) relationship between plasma 25(OH)D concentrations and prevalence of five pathogenic oral bacteria among postmenopausal women in the OsteoPerio ancillary study of the Buffalo center of the Women's Health Initiative. Methods: Subgingival plaque samples were assessed for the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythensis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia and Campylobacter rectus using indirect immunofluorescent microscopy Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were determined using the DiaSorin LIAISON ® chemiluminescence method. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for prevalent pathogenic bacteria by quintile (Q) of 25(OH)D concentration adjusting for body mass index as a potential confounder. Results: Of the 856 participants, 289 (34%) had low (<50 nmol/L) 25(OH)D concentrations. 497 (58.1%) had at least one species of these oral bacteria present. There was no association found between 25(OH)D concentrations and prevalence of any pathogenic oral bacteria [OR (95% CI) for Q5 (high) vs. Q1 (low)= 0.95 (0.61-1.48); p for trend=0.50]. Additionally, no statistically significant associations were observed between 25(OH)D concentrations and individual species of bacteria. The overall associations between 25(OH)D concentrations and prevalence of any pathogenic bacteria was not modified by frequency of flossing, diabetes status, antibiotic use or whole-mouth mean periodontal pocket depth. We did find some evidence of effect modification by current smoking status [OR (95% CI) for ≥ 50 nmol/L vs. <50 nmol/L = 0.25 (0.02 - 3.34) in current smokers as compared to 1.00 (0.74 - 1.35) in current non-smokers; p for interaction=0.03]. Conclusions: This observed lack of association may be due to the species of bacteria assessed, small effect size or a true absence of a relationship between 25(OH)D and pathogenic oral bacteria.