Dental Health Care Cooperating with Primary Health Care as a Resource in Early Case Finding of Patients with Diabetes or Hypertension
Sammanfattning: Objectives To investigate if there is an association between dental health status and high blood pressure, to test the effectiveness of screening for high blood pressure and high blood glucose performed by the dental health care in collaboration with primary health care and to investigate the direct costs for this type of screening organisation.Study population and methods In Paper I 54 subjects with known hypertension and 141 with a high blood pressure in the dental office were compared with matched controls. In Paper II 1,149 subjects were screened for hypertension and in Paper III 1,568 subjects were screened for diabetes in dental care. Follow up was performed in co-operating primary health care centres. In paper IV the direct costs for screening and follow-up were calculated.Results There was a significant association between deep periodontal pockets and high blood pressure, even when the influence of age, sex, smoking and number of teeth was taken into account. Among those being screened for high blood pressure and high blood glucose 20.6% and 9.9% respectively were referred to primary health care, and a hypertension or a diabetes diagnosis was found in 32.1% and 5.8% of those screening positive. For every 18th subject screened a hypertension case was found (“numbers needed to screen” (NNS)), and for every 196th a diabetes case. NNS for combined hypertension and diabetes screening was 15. The total direct costs for screening and follow up per diagnosis found were 5,298 SEK for hypertension, 19,100 SEK for diabetes, and 4,116 SEK for combined blood pressure and blood glucose screening.Conclusions There was an association between dental health and hypertension. Screening for hypertension was highly efficient, while screening for diabetes was less so, because it is a less prevalent condition. Screening for both conditions appears to be the most efficient type of screening.
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