Washington, United States _ AFP.
Menopausal women with chronic gum infection are 14% more likely to have cancer, especially esophagus, which is more than three times more common in this group, according to a study published this Tuesday.
Scientists (whose work has been published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention) also found that these women are at a significantly higher risk of lung, breast, gallbladder, or melanoma cancer.
The study was conducted between 1999 and 2013 to more than 65,000 patients between 54 and 86 years of age, who responded to a questionnaire on their health status for eight years.
Previous research has already suggested that people with periodontal disease were more likely to develop a certain type of cancer.
But this is the first study that focuses on this chronic infection of the gums in all types of cancers in an older female population, says Dr. Jean Wactawsky-Wende, Dean of the School of Public Health of New York State University in Buffalo and principal author.
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However, it points out that further research is needed to determine how periodontal disease can cause cancer.
One hypothesis suggests that bacteria located in the dental plaque or saliva may end up in the blood.
Esophageal cancer could be explained by the proximity of the mouth, says the doctor.
Periodontal disease affects and destroys tissues that hold teeth, gums, and bone.
This pathology is slow and evolves over several decades.