This study will analyze the association between periodontal disease and recurrent coronary heart disease (CHD) in individuals who have survived a myocardial infarction (MI). The overall goal is to test the hypothesis that periodontal disease is a significant and independent risk factor for recurrent CHD events. In addition potential mechanisms linking periodontal disease to CHD events will be investigated. At baseline 1,200 participants will undergo a detailed interview and health examination that will include information on lifestyle, sociodemographic, and anthropometric variables and CVD risk factors, and a complete oral health examination including measurement of clinical attachment levels and radiographic assessment of interproximal alveolar crestal height. The two aims are to examine the association between recurrent heart disease and periodontal disease as measured by gingival attachment level and radiographic assessment, and to examine the association between recurrent heart disease and levels of bacterial infection. Participants will be followed prospectively annually for an average of 3 years. The investigators state that the proposed study should provide important new information about the temporal association between periodontal disease and CHD.
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