Aims: The aim of the present study is to investigate systemic levels of inflammatory markers of cardiovascular diseases like C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), total leukocyte count and differential count in patients with chronic periodontitis, in comparison to healthy individuals without periodontal disease.
Subjects and methods: A total of 42 individuals, both males and females, above the age of 30 years, were included. Healthy controls (Group I, n = 14), patients with chronic localized periodontitis (Group II, n = 14) and chronic generalized periodontitis (Group III, n = 14), all without any other medical disorder were recruited and peripheral blood samples were taken. Serum samples of CRP and IL-6 were estimated by using different techniques. Total leukocyte count and differential count were estimated by standard clinical laboratory method.
Results: Groups II and III had higher mean CRP levels than Group I (0.479, 0.544 versus 0.304 mg/dL). C-reactive protein level in Group III was statistically significant when compared to Group I (p = 0.04). Group III had higher median IL-6 level (6.35 pgm/ml) than Group II (< 5.0 pgm/ml) and Group I (< 5.0 pgm/ml). Median values of IL-6 were not statistically significant in any group (p = 0.29). Total leukocyte count was also elevated in Group III (10.4 x 103/c.mm) compared to Group II and Group I (9.2 x 103/c.mm and 7.9 x 103/c.mm). This was statistically significant between different study groups (p < 0.0001). Neutrophil count in Group III was higher (68.0%) than Group II (62.4%) and Group I (57.4%). Neutrophil percentage was statistically significant in Group III, when compared to Group I (p = 0.0003).
Conclusion: Periodontitis results in higher systemic levels of CRP, IL-6, total leukocyte count and neutrophils. These elevated inflammatory factors may increase inflammatory activity in atherosclerotic lesions, potentially increasing the risk for cardiovascular events.