Background: This study aims to determine whether periodontitis is a risk factor for transient ischemic attack (TIA) in young adults. Methods: The National Health Insurance (NHI) Research Database in Taiwan was the source of the data used in this retrospective cohort study. Individuals aged 20 to 53 years with periodontitis in 2001 and 2002 (n = 792,426) and an age- and sex-matched control group (n = 792,426) were selected. All participants were followed up until TIA diagnosis, 55 years of age, removal from the NHI program, death, or December 31, 2016. The incidence density and hazard ratio (HR) of new-onset TIA were compared between individuals with periodontitis and controls. Periodontitis was defined by dentists according to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes 523.3–5 with concurrent antibiotic prescription or periodontal treatment excluding scaling performed by certified dentists. TIA was defined according to the ICD-9-CM code 435.x at hospital discharge. Results: After adjustment for confounding factors, the risk of developing TIA/minor ischemic stroke was calculated to be higher in participants with periodontitis (HR, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.15‒1.32; P <0.001) than in those without. The HR was slightly higher among people aged 20 to 40 years than among those aged 40 to 53 years. Conclusion: Periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of developing TIA/minor ischemic stroke. Periodontitis might be a modifiable risk factor for stroke in young adults. Clinicians must devote greater attention to this potential association to develop new preventive and therapeutic strategies for stroke in young adults.
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