Although the etiology of essential hypertension is not clearly understood, endothelial dysfunction from chronic infection and/or impaired glucose metabolism may be involved. We hypothesized that salivary lysozyme, a marker for oral infection and hyperglycemia, might display a significant relationship with hypertension, an early stage of cardiovascular disease. Logistic regression analyses of the Kuopio Oral Health and Heart Study demonstrated that persons with higher lysozyme levels were more likely to have hypertension, after adjustment for age, gender, smoking, BMI, diabetes, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol, and C-reactive protein. The exposure to increasing quartiles of lysozyme was associated with adjusted Odds Ratios for the outcome, hypertension, 1.00 (referent), 1.25, 1.42, and 2.56 (linear trend p <0.003). When we restricted the sample to the individuals without heart disease (N = 250), we observed a non-significant trend for increasing odds. Our hypothesis - "high salivary lysozyme levels are associated with the odds of hypertension" - was confirmed.
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