This study aimed to determine whether periodontal status is related to a decline in lung function in a general Japanese population. We followed a total of 1,650 community-dwelling individuals (≥40 years) without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with at least one teeth, for 3 years. Periodontal status was assessed at baseline by clinical attachment loss (CAL) and probing pocket depth (PPD) at two sites for each tooth, and the mean values were calculated for each subject. Lung function was measured at baseline and follow-up using spirometry, and longitudinal decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was calculated. Multivariate Poisson regression with robust error variance was used to estimate risk ratio (RR). After adjusting for potential confounders including smoking status, there was a tendency for the adjusted RR of developing rapid lung function decline (≥160 mL/3years, the highest quartile of the distribution of FEV1 declines) to increase as mean CAL levels increased (P trend = 0.039). Likewise, a positive association was observed between mean PPD levels and RR of developing rapid lung function decline (P trend = 0.047). Our findings suggest deterioration of periodontal status could be a risk factor for rapid lung function decline in the general Japanese population.
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