Pulpal inflammation and incidence of coronary heart disease

Kaumudi J. Joshipura, Waranuch Pitiphat, Hsin Chia Hung, Walter C. Willett, Graham A. Colditz, Chester W. Douglass

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77 Scopus citations


Pulpal inflammation is primarily caused by coronal caries, and leads to root canal therapy (RCT). Chronic inflammation has been associated with various cardiovascular diseases. This study evaluates the association between pulpal inflammation (using RCT as a surrogate) and incident coronary heart disease (CHD). We report results among males from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), excluding participants with prior cardiovascular disease or diabetes. We obtained RCT data from the HPFS cohort (n = 34,683). Compared to men without RCT, those with <1 RCT had a multivariate RR of 1.21 (95% CI 1.05-1.40) for CHD. The association was limited to dentists (RR = 1.38; 95% CI 1.14-1.67). There was no association among nondentists (RR = 1.03). Dental caries was not associated with CHD. The results suggest a possible modest association between pulpal inflammation and CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Caries
  • Epidemiology
  • Inflammation
  • Root canals


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