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01.06.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2014

International Journal of Public Health 3/2014

Screening for coronary heart disease and diabetes risk in a dental setting

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 3/2014
Mythili Kalladka, Barbara L. Greenberg, Shreenivasa Murthy Padmashree, Nagathihally Thirumalegowda Venkateshaiah, Shilpa Yalsangi, Bangalore Nagarajachar Raghunandan, Michael Glick



Diabetes mellitus (DM) and heart disease, among the most prevalent chronic conditions worldwide, are increasing among younger adults who are unaware of their risk status. Previous studies in the United States have shown the efficacy of screening for risk of heart disease and diabetes in a dental setting. A screening strategy was applied to facilitate early identification of individuals at increased disease risk in a single Indian dental institute.


158 patients >30 years old, with no reported heart disease or diabetes, and unaware of any increased disease risk were enrolled. Blood pressure, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein levels and body mass index were collected. The Framingham Risk Score (FRS) was calculated as an indication of global risk of developing a coronary heart disease (CHD) event within 10 years; hemoglobin A1c level was used to determine DM risk.


Eleven percent had increased risk of heart disease (FRS >10 %) and 32 % had abnormal A1c levels (>5.7 %). At least one risk factor was present in 61 and 39 % presented with two or more risk factors. Hypertension and obesity were the most common risk factors.


The use of a dental setting in a developing country could serve as a resource for early identification of patients at increased risk of developing CHD and DM, yet unaware of their increased risk. The dental setting can also serve as an entry point into the medical care system by identifying asymptomatic patients at increased risk of disease and referring these individuals to a primary care provider.

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