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Editor's Correspondence
August 8/22, 2005

Underlying Chronic Infection and Leukocyte Count

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(15):1795. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.15.1795-b

In the March 14 issue of the ARCHIVES, Margolis and colleagues1 reported that white blood cell (WBC) counts might be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and that it might be causally associated with CVD. Oral infection has been implicated in the proinflammatory process of CVD,2 and in several crossover trials, improving periodontal health decreased systemic C-reactive protein level.3,4 In our previous study,5 we also observed that our own oral infection index (Asymptotic Dental Score) was significantly associated with the highest quartile of WBC counts. Could this increase in WBC counts observed in the Women’s Health Initiative Study be an indicator for underlying chronic infection such as oral infection?

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