Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Association between dental health and acute myocardial infarction.

British Medical Journal 1989; 298 doi: (Published 25 March 1989) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1989;298:779
  1. K. J. Mattila,
  2. M. S. Nieminen,
  3. V. V. Valtonen,
  4. V. P. Rasi,
  5. Y. A. Kesäniemi,
  6. S. L. Syrjälä,
  7. P. S. Jungell,
  8. M. Isoluoma,
  9. K. Hietaniemi,
  10. M. J. Jokinen
  1. First Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


    Known risk factors for coronary heart disease do not explain all of the clinical and epidemiological features of the disease. To examine the role of chronic bacterial infections as risk factors for the disease the association between poor dental health and acute myocardial infarction was investigated in two separate case-control studies of a total of 100 patients with acute myocardial infarction and 102 controls selected from the community at random. Dental health was graded by using two indexes, one of which was assessed blind. Based on these indexes dental health was significantly worse in patients with acute myocardial infarction than in controls. The association remained valid after adjustment for age, social class, smoking, serum lipid concentrations, and the presence of diabetes. Further prospective studies are required in different populations to confirm the association and to elucidate its nature.