Publisher’s Word (Nov-Dec 2023)

Dragon’s Medical Bulletin Nov-Dec 2023

Periodontitis has been shown in past research to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Now it appears periodontitis may also increase the risk of atrial fibrillation by contributing to the development of atrial fibrosis1. The next question researchers are looking to answer is if treating periodontitis would actually decrease the risk of developing atrial fibrillation. 

There are quite a few commonly recommended cancer screening tests and we have been told that by doing them as recommended, we should expect life extension benefits. However, this paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine may put a damper on all the enthusiasm and expectations. The results of a meta-analysis of all available randomized trials show that the commonly promoted cancer screening tests probably have little to no impact on extending life expectancy, with sigmoidoscopy being the only exception2. I was especially shocked to learn that mammography extends life by zero (“0”) days!  

Martin Kwok, ND, DrTCM
Editor-in-Chief

  1. Miyauchi S, et al. Relationship Between Periodontitis and Atrial Fibrosis in Atrial Fibrillation: Histological Evaluation of Left Atrial Appendages.  JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2023 Jan;9(1):43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2022.08.018. Epub 2022 Oct 31.
  2. Bretthauer M, et al. Estimated Lifetime Gained With Cancer Screening Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Intern Med. 2023 Nov 1;183(11):1196-1203. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.3798.