January 17, 2008

Dental health researchers examine link between gum disease and osteoporosis

Researchers seek post-menopausal women to participate in study, receive free dental care

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Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Case Medical Center, a partnership between Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland, are recruiting 240 post-menopausal women to participate in a dental health study related to gum disease.

Study participants will receive bone density scanning and diagnosis, calcium and Vitamin D supplementation, blood work and related medical and dental treatment during the course of the study at no cost.

The 12-month study is being conducted by Leena Palomo from the Department of Periodontics at the dental school, and the project's medical adviser, James H. Liu, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University Hospitals. In a pilot study, Palomo and Liu found that women given medication to treat osteoporosis had improved oral health.

"Our goal is better oral health for women who are at risk for bone loss," said Palomo.

By the year 2020, more than half of all Americans will have weakened bones unless action is taken to change lifestyles, according to a 2004 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis. Activities to minimize risk for osteoporosis include increasing physical activities and calcium and vitamin D in the diet, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and reducing hazards in the home that could result in falls.

The study has support from the MacDonald Research Institute for Better Bone Health, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-Aventis.

For more information or to participate in the study, contact the MacDonald Clinical Trials Unit at 440-995-3810.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, January 17, 2008 10:23 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, Research, School of Medicine

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