Objective: Recent studies have shown that pre-eclamptic women present a high prevalence of periodontitis, suggesting that active periodontal disease may play a role in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. The present study analysed the effect of periodontal disease in the concentrations of serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and its association with pre-eclampsia.
Methods: A case–control study was carried out in Cali-Colombia, comprised of 398 pregnant women (145 cases and 253 controls) who were believed to have periodontal disease, between 28 and 36 weeks of gestational age. Pre-eclampsia cases were defined as blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mmHg and proteinuria ≥ 0.3 g/24 h. Controls were pregnant women with normal blood pressure, without proteinuria, matched by maternal age, gestational age and body mass index. Sociodemographic data, obstetric risk factors, periodontal state, subgingival microbial composition and hs-CRP levels were determined in both groups.
Results: The case and control groups were comparable for sociodemographic characteristics. In women with pre-eclampsia and confirmed periodontal disease (n = 138), hs-CRP levels increased according to the severity of the disease (gingivitis median 4.14 mg/dl; mild periodontitis median 4.70 mg/dl; moderate/severe periodontitis median 8.8 mg/dl; P = 0.01). A similar tendency was observed in controls with periodontal disease (n = 251), but it did not reach statistical significance (gingivitis median 5.10 mg/dl; mild periodontitis median 5.12 mg/dl; moderate/severe periodontitis median 6.90 mg/dl; P = 0.07). A significant difference in hs-CRP levels was observed in pre-eclamptic women with moderate/severe periodontitis compared to controls (P = 0.01).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that chronic periodontitis may increase hs-CRP levels in pregnant women and lead to complications such as pre-eclampsia.