Periodontitis and prevalence of elevated aminotransferases in the hispanic community health study/study of latinos

Aderonke A. Akinkugbe, A. Sidney Barritt, Jianwen Cai, Steven Offenbacher, Bharat Thyagarajan, Tasneem Khambaty, Richard Singer, Eric Kallwitz, Gerardo Heiss, Gary D. Slade

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19 Scopus citations


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) prevalence is greater among Hispanics/Latinos than other racial/ethnic groups and prevalence is further reported to vary among Hispanic/Latino background groups. Experimental animal and human studies demonstrate associations between periodontitis and NAFLD, not yet reported among Hispanics/Latinos. This study examined periodontitis as a novel risk factor that may contribute to the burden of NAFLD among Hispanics/Latinos. Methods: Data came from 11,914 participants of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Periodontitis was defined as the extent (none, < 30%, ≥30%) of periodontal sites with clinical attachment level (CAL) of ≥3 mm or probing pocket depth (PD) of ≥4 mm. Elevated serum transaminases indicative of suspected NAFLD were defined as having alanine aminotransferase levels (ALT) > 40 IU/L or aspar-tate aminotransferase (AST) > 37 IU/L for men and ALT > 31 IU/L or AST > 31 IU/L for women. Survey-logistic regression models estimated prevalence odds ratios (POR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between periodontitis and suspected NAFLD. Results: The overall age-standardized percentage of study participants with < 30% of sites with CAL ≥3 mm or PD ≥4 mm was 53.5% and 58.6%, respectively, while participants with ≥30% sites with CAL ≥3 mm or PD ≥4 mm comprised 16% and 5.72%, respectively. The overall age-standardized prevalence (95% CI) of suspected NAFLD was 18.1% (17.1-19.0). For the entire cohort, we observed a dose-response (i.e. graded) association between PD ≥4 mm and the prevalence odds of suspected NAFLD, whereby participants with < 30% affected had a crude POR = 1.19 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.38) while participants with ≥30% affected had a crude POR = 1.39 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.90). These crude estimates were attenuated toward the null and rendered non-significant upon covariate adjustment. No differences were found by Hispanic/Latino background group. Conclusion: Previously reported associations between periodontitis and NAFLD were marginal to null in this study of a diverse group of Hispanics/Latinos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-958
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Epidemiologic studies
  • Periodontitis
  • Transaminases


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