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Intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, and preterm birth: adverse pregnancy outcomes and their association with maternal periodontitis.

BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that periodontitis is associated with systemic alterations such as adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, some conflicting results have been reported. This case-control study was conducted to determine the association between maternal periodontitis and preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

METHODS: A total of 1,305 Brazilian women from multiethnic groups were enrolled and divided into four groups: control group (1,042 women who gave birth to infants with adequate gestational age and birth weight); PTB group (238 women, gestational age <37 complete weeks); LBW group (235 women, birth weight <2,500 g); and IUGR group (77 women who gave birth to infants with fetal growth retardation). Periodontitis was defined as the presence of at least four teeth with one or more sites with probing depth > or =4 mm and clinical attachment loss > or =3 mm. The effects of variables of interest, confounders, and interaction were tested through univariate and multivariate logistic regression tests.

RESULTS: After adjusting for variables of interest, maternal periodontitis was retained in the final model for PTB (odds ratio [OR] = 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12 to 2.59), LBW (OR = 1.67; 95% CI: 1.11 to 2.51), and IUGR (OR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.07 to 4.19). When the interaction between periodontitis and previous PTB was tested, an OR of 5.94 (P <0.001), 9.12 (P <0.001), and 18.90 (P <0.001) was observed for PTB, LBW, and IUGR, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal periodontitis is associated with an increased risk for PTB, LBW, and IUGR. Results emphasize the importance of periodontal care in prenatal health programs.

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