It is being suggested by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, that dentists are able to help identify those at risk of a heart attack.

The study was carried out involving 200 men and women over the age of 45. Those who took part in the study did not have any known cardiovascular problems, or at risk of imminent heart attack.
During a standard visit to their dentists in Boras and Gothenburg they were checked out for known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Mats Jontell is a senior dental officer and professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden.
He had this to say:
“Dentists are really proud of their profession and feel no need to encroach upon doctors’ territory, however, we wanted to find out if we as a profession could identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.”

“These risk factors are not normally manifested in the mouth, which is why the dentists went beyond their normal check-up routine,” says Jontell. “They also took the patients’ blood pressure and checked total cholesterol and blood sugar levels.”

The risk of cardiovascular disease was worked out using a software known as HeartScore. The dentists felt that 12 of the men had a 10% risk of developing a fatal cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years and advised them to see their doctors. Six of the twelve were subsequently prescribed medication to lower their blood pressure.

“Dentists regularly see a very large percentage of the Swedish population, and if there is sufficient interest they could also screen for cardiovascular risk factors which, untreated, could lead to a heart attack or stroke,” says Jontell.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 at 1:35 am.
Categories: Dentist News.

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