Periodontal Disease Status in Gullah African Americans With Type 2 Diabetes Living in South Carolina

Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
Journal of Periodontology (Impact Factor: 2.71). 08/2009; 80(7):1062-8. DOI: 10.1902/jop.2009.080486
Source: PubMed


African Americans have a disproportionate burden of diabetes. Gullah African Americans are the most genetically homogeneous population of African descent in the United States, with an estimated European admixture of only 3.5%. This study assessed the previously unknown prevalence of periodontal disease among a sample of Gullah African Americans with diabetes and investigated the association between diabetes control and the presence of periodontal disease.
Two hundred thirty-five Gullah African Americans with type 2 diabetes were included. Diabetes control was assessed by percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and divided into three categories: well controlled, <7%; moderately controlled, 7% to 8.5%; and poorly controlled, >8.5%. Participants were categorized as healthy (no clinical attachment loss [AL] or bleeding on probing) or as having early periodontitis (clinical AL > or =1 mm in at least two teeth), moderate periodontitis (three sites with clinical AL > or =4 mm and at least two sites with probing depth [PD] > or =3 mm), or severe periodontitis (clinical AL > or =6 mm in at least two teeth and PD > or =5 mm in at least one site). Observed prevalences of periodontitis were compared to rates reported for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) studies.
All subjects had evidence of periodontal disease: 70.6% had moderate periodontitis and 28.5% had severe disease. Diabetes control was not associated with periodontal disease. The periodontal disease proportions were significantly higher than the reported national prevalence of 10.6% among African Americans without diabetes.
Our sample of Gullah African Americans with type 2 diabetes exhibited a higher prevalence of periodontal disease compared to African Americans, with and without diabetes, as reported in NHANES III and NHANES 1999-2000.

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