Periodontal disease (PD) is more common and severe in people with diabetes than the general population. The presence of severe PD is correlated with decreased survival, since it can potentially affect glycemic control and severity of complications in people with diabetes. We have reported that Medalists (people with T1DM of 50 years or longer duration) may have endogenous protective factors for the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and retinopathy (DR). This study assessed the prevalence of PD in the Medalist cohort and correlated it to the known risk factors of PD and diabetic complications. Severity of PD was defined in a subset (n=170) of Medalists with comparable characteristics of the whole cohort, according to the AAP criteria. The prevalence of severe PD was dramatically decreased in Medalists (13.5%) compared with other studies of people with diabetes of similar age, approximately 33%. Clinical parameters, such as male gender, chronological age, age at diagnosis, and total insulin dose were correlated positively with severity of PD (p=0.04, 0.01, 0.03, and 0.02, respectively), while duration of disease, hemoglobin A1c, BMI, and lipid profiles did not exhibit any correlation. Interestingly, detectible plasma C-peptide levels correlated inversely with severity of PD (p=0.04). Systemic inflammatory markers, such as plasma IL-6, clearly correlated positively with the severity of PD (p=0.01). Serum antibody titer against Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), a known pathogen of PD, trended with severity of PD (p=0.08). Amongst the various complications, only the prevalence of CVD correlated positively with severity of PD (p=0.02). These results suggest that Medalists are protected from severe PD even with hyperglycemia. The endogenous protective factors for PD could be similar to those for CVD, possibly related to endogenously produced insulin to neutralize the chronic inflammation caused by residual infection with Pg in the gingival tissues.
T. Shinjo: None. A. Ishikado: Employee; Self; Sunstar Inc.. Employee; Spouse/Partner; Sunstar Inc.. H. Hasturk: None. L.J. Tinsley: None. D.M. Pober: None. I. Wu: None. T.E. Van Dyke: None. R.J. Genco: None. G.L. King: Research Support; Self; Sanofi-Aventis.