Dental Care Lowers Heart Disease Risk

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 7 (UPI) — Women who get dental care may lower their risk of heart disease and stroke by one-third, a U.S. researcher says.

Timothy Brown of the University of California, Berkeley, says the study is the first to show general dental care in women leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

The study, published in Health Economics, did not find a similar benefit for men.

“We think the findings reflect differences in how men and women develop cardiovascular disease,” study co-author Dr. Stephen Brown, a first-year obstetrician/gynecologist resident at the West Virginia University Charleston Division School of Medicine, says in a statement. “Other studies suggest that estrogen has a protective effect against heart disease because it helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis. It’s not until women hit menopause around age 50 to 55 that they start catching up with men.”

The researchers used data from nearly 7,000 people ages 44-88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study.

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