The other day I wrote about environmental agents increasing risk of obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance and mentioned an article associating exposure to particulate matter with increased incidence of diabetes and wondered about it. If, as the authors suggest, exposure to particulates results in low-level chronic inflammation, then other causes of chronic inflammation (like gum disease) should also be associated with increased risk of diabetes, insulin resistance or similar. A little poking around, and yes, looks like a hit: Increased Prevalence of Cardiovascular and Autoimmune Diseases in Periodontitis Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study. Just out last month by Nesse et al. at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. Very cool guys. Congrats on the publication.
Nesse W, Dijkstra PU, Abbas F, Spijkervet FK, Stijger A, Tromp JA, van Dijk JL, & Vissink A (2010). Increased prevalence of cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases in periodontitis patients: a cross-sectional study. Journal of periodontology, 81 (11), 1622-8 PMID: 20583916