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  Dental care reduces women’s risk of heart disease


Narrator:         This is Science Today. Women who need a bit more motivation to keep their dental appointments should know about a study finding that receiving dental care reduces a woman's risk of heart disease. Timothy Brown, a health policy expert at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, says their study found that general dental care reduced a woman's risk of cardiovascular events by at least one-third.

Brown:            The events would include a heart attack or a stroke, chest pain or congestive heart failure or, of course, death. There are many studies that have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but ours is the first study that makes a causal association between the means that going to the dentist actually results in you having less cardiovascular disease events.

Narrator:         The study did not find the same effect in men.

Brown:            The development of heart disease for women is about 10 years lagged from male disease, so we're catching women in this study right at the beginning of their development of heart disease, whereas men are 10 years advanced.

Narrator:         For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.