Interleukin-1 gene variations linked to perio disease risk

Interleukin-1 (IL-1) gene variations are associated with increased risk of periodontal disease, according to a new study in the Journal of Periodontology (February 21, 2012).

The study assessed the potential value of IL-1 genetic variations in the risk for developing severe periodontal disease. Researchers from Harvard University reviewed 27 studies on IL-1 genetics and periodontal disease to determine whether there was a significant association between the presence of the IL-1 gene variations and the severity and progression of periodontal disease.

Thirteen studies qualified for the quantitative meta-analysis, which found significant effects for the two individual gene variations: IL1A and IL1B and for a composite genotype that combines minor alleles at each locus. They found statistically significant heterogeneity that could not be explained, but there was no indication of publication bias, according to the researchers.

"This review and meta-analysis show that IL1A and IL1B genetic variations are significant contributors to chronic periodontitis in Caucasians," the study authors concluded.

This information could lead to more aggressive treatment protocols for patients at increased risk, they added.

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