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More Studies Needed to Determine Link Between Metabolic Syndrome and Tooth Loss

A systematic review and meta-analysis suggest better-conducted longitudinal studies are needed to establish a possible causal link between metabolic syndrome and tooth loss.

A systematic review and meta-analysis suggest better-conducted longitudinal studies are needed to establish a possible causal link between metabolic syndrome and tooth loss. The syndrome, which consists of a cluster of health conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, has been associated with tooth loss in past studies—although there has been no consensus on the topic.

Published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the study, “Association Between Metabolic Syndrome and Tooth Loss,” identified 12 papers that met eligibility criteria, but only nine were used for the meta-analysis. Investigators say the review indicates metabolic syndrome is positively associated with tooth loss, but recommend caution in considering these findings due to a “very low level of evidence.”

Researchers say it is essential for future studies to develop and follow a standard for measuring tooth loss and metabolic syndrome in order to allow more accurate comparisons. They also recommend using “appropriate causal modeling approaches” and sampling that is representative of the general population.

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