To examine the association of alcohol consumption measured at different points in time and periodontitis at 20 years follow-up and to investigate whether long-term alcohol consumption is related to periodontitis in old age.
Participants aged 65 years or older in 2003, from the longitudinal study Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS), were invited to participate in the Copenhagen Oral Health Senior Study.
Clinical periodontal attachment loss was calculated to determine the progress of periodontitis. Alcohol consumption was measured at CCHS follow-ups in 1981–1983, 1991–1994 and 2001–2003, using a standard questionnaire. Alcohol consumption was defined as light, moderate and heavy drinking and used individually for each follow-up. The three follow-ups were summarized into long-term alcohol consumption. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relation between alcohol consumption measured at different points in time and periodontitis and to assess the effect of long-term alcohol consumption on periodontitis.
The results show that heavy drinkers in 1981–1983 had a higher odds ratio for having periodontitis compared to light drinkers (OR = 4.64 95% CI = [1.1; 19.42]).
Early consumption of alcohol may increase the odds of having periodontitis 20 years later. There is a need for further studies including larger populations to investigate both alcohol consumption measured at different points in time, and long-term alcohol consumption and periodontitis progression over time.