Background: To investigate the frequency of systemic drugs taken by elderly patients with or without periodontitis and the possible association between medication consumption and the severity of periodontitis. Methods: A total of 1221 patients, including 608 with generalized moderate to severe periodontitis (periodontitis group) and 613 age- and gender-matched individuals with healthy periodontium (healthy group) were selected. Systemic conditions, medications and periodontal status were recorded. Medication intake frequency (%) was compared using unconditional logistic regression. Results: The top three most common medications were angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (17.9%), antidepressants (17.8%), and lipid-lowering medications (16.5%). Both ACE inhibitors and antidepressants showed statistically higher intake frequency in the periodontitis group relative to healthy controls (21.5% versus 14.4%; odds ratio [OR] = 1.64), (21.1% versus 14.5%, OR = 1.57) (P < 0.01). Additionally, intake of oral hypoglycemic agents, calcium channel blockers (CCB), insulin, and diuretics were significantly higher in the periodontitis group with OR = 2.49, 2.32, 2.08 and 1.79, respectively (P < 0.05). Several medications demonstrated a disease severity-dependent association comparing generalized severe periodontitis with moderate periodontitis and healthy group: oral hypoglycemic agents (17.4% versus 16.8% versus 8.0%), CCB (14.8% versus 14.4% versus 8.0%) and anticonvulsants (13.4% versus 7.7% versus 6.4%) with OR of 2.43, 1.99, and 2.28 (severe periodontitis versus healthy group), respectively. Conclusion: There was a significantly higher frequency of medication intake related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in patients with periodontitis. A disease severity-dependence with medication intake frequency was also noted. This study provides indirect evidence for the possible relationship between systemic diseases and periodontitis.
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