Take Very Good
Care of YouselvesDeuteronomy 4:15

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size=3>Monday, Dec 14, 2009

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color=#30312d>An overwhelming majority of people who have periodontal (gum)
disease are also at high risk for diabetes and should be screened for diabetes,
a New York
research team has found. The researchers also determined that half of those at
risk had seen a dentist in the previous year, concluded that dentists should
consider offering diabetes screenings in their offices, and described practical
approaches to conducting diabetes screenings in dental

color=#30312d>The study, led by Dr. Shiela Strauss, Associate Professor of
Nursing and Co-Director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for NYUs
Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, examined data from 2,923 adult participants
in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had not
been diagnosed with diabetes. The survey, conducted by the w:st="on">National w:st="on">Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, was designed to assess the health and
nutritional status of adults and children in the w:st="on">United

color=#30312d>Using guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association,
Dr. Strauss determined that 93 percent of subjects who had periodontal disease,
compared to 63 percent of those without the disease, were considered to be at
high risk for diabetes and should be screened for diabetes. The guidelines
recommend diabetes screening for people at least 45 years of age with a body
mass index (a comparative measure of weight and height) of 25 or more, as well
as for those under 45 years of age with a BMI of 25 or more who also have at
least one additional diabetes risk factor. In Dr. Strausss study, two of those
additional risk factors - high blood pressure and a first-degree relative (a
parent or sibling) with diabetes - were reported in a significantly greater
number of subjects with periodontal disease than in subjects without the
disease. Dr. Strausss findings, published today in the online edition of the
target=_blank>style="COLOR: #ab4500; TEXT-DECORATION: none; text-underline: none">Journal of
Public Health Dentistry
, add to a growing
body of evidence linking periodontal infections to an increased risk for

color=#30312d>Dr. Strauss also examined how often those with gum disease and a
risk for diabetes visit a dentist, finding that three in five reported a dental
visit in the past two years; half in the past year; and a third in the past six

color=#30312d>In light of these findings, the dental visit could be a useful
opportunity to conduct an initial diabetes screening  an important first step
in identifying those patients who need follow-up testing to diagnose the

color=#30312d>Its been estimated that 5.7 million Americans with diabetes were
undiagnosed in 2007, Dr. Strauss added, with the number expected to increase
dramatically in coming years. The issue of undiagnosed diabetes is especially
critical because early treatment and secondary prevention efforts may help to
prevent or delay the long-term complications of diabetes that are responsible
for reduced quality of life and increased levels of mortality among these
patients. Thus, there is a critical need to increase opportunities for diabetes
screening and early diabetes detection.

color=#30312d>Dr. Strauss said that dentists could screen patients for diabetes
by evaluating them for risk factors such as being overweight; belonging to a
high-risk ethnic group (African-American, Latino, Native American,
Asian-American, or Pacific Islander); having high cholesterol; high blood
pressure; a first-degree relative with diabetes; or gestational diabetes
mellitus; or having given birth to a baby weighing more than nine

color=#30312d>Alternatively, dentists could use a glucometer  a diagnostic
instrument for measuring blood glucose  to analyze finger-stick blood samples,
or use the glucometer to evaluate blood samples taken from pockets of
inflammation in the gums.

color=#30312d>The oral blood sample would arguably be more acceptable to
dentists because providers and patients anticipate oral intervention in the
dental office, Dr. Strauss noted. In an earlier study involving 46 subjects
with periodontal really funny pictures disease published in June 2009 by the Journal of
Periodontology, an NYU nursing-dental research team led by Dr. Strauss
determined that the glucometer can provide reliable glucose-level readings for
blood samples drawn from deep pockets of gum inflammation, and that those
readings were highly correlated with glucometer readings for finger-stick blood

color=#30312d>Dr. Strausss coauthors on the study for the Journal of Public
Health Dentistry
include Ms. Alla Wheeler, Clinical Assistant Professor of
Dental Hygiene; Dr. Stefanie Russell, a periodontist and Assistant Professor of
Epidemiology & Health Promotion; and Dr. Robert Norman, Research Associate
Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion, all of the NYU College of
Dentistry; Dr. Luisa Borrell, an Associate Professor in the Department of Health
Sciences at Lehman College of the City University of New York; and Dr. David
Rindskopf, Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychology at
the City University of New York Graduate Center.

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