Statin use and tooth loss in chronic periodontitis patients
At the time of publication, Barry Saver was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
BACKGROUND: Statins have anti-inflammatory and bone stimulating properties that may positively affect chronic periodontitis. Our objective in this study was to evaluate whether statin use by chronic periodontitis patients had a beneficial impact on tooth loss.
METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study (N patients = 1,021; mean follow-up = 7.1 years), dental records were merged with pharmacy data. Any statin use during 3 years, statin use during each of 3 consecutive years (regular use), and any statin use during the first 3 years after the initial periodontal exam were evaluated as predictors of tooth loss using negative binomial regression models with adjustment for potential confounding factors.
RESULTS: Any statin use during 3 years was not associated with tooth loss rate in the year subsequent to the 3-year period (rate ratio [RR] = 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.56 to 1.81). Regular statin use during 3 years was associated with a non-significant 37% reduced tooth loss rate in the year subsequent to the 3-year period (RR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.32 to 1.25). Any statin use during the first 3 years after the initial periodontal exam was associated with a 48% decreased tooth loss rate in year 4 and subsequent years (RR = 0.52; 95% CI = 0.29 to 0.95).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings were mixed for an association of statin use with reduced tooth loss in chronic periodontitis patients. Lack of control for some potential confounders, particularly smoking, and evaluation of different patterns of statin usage hamper the interpretation of the results. Exploration of these findings in additional epidemiological studies may be worthwhile.