Aim. Periodontal diseases entail a variety of conditions affecting the periodontium. The pathogenesis results from a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Although there are evidences to confirm a role of genetic determinants, the outcome of the available studies is controversial and the largest part of the research has been carried out in Asian populations. Methods. We investigated two polymorphisms in the genes encoding Interelukin-1β (IL-1β +3953 C>T; rs1143634) and vitamin D receptor (VDR Taq1; rs731236) in 42 Caucasian patients with chronic periodontal disease and 39 Caucasian subjects, matched for age and gender. Results. The IL-1β C allele was present in 100% of cases and 92% of controls (p=0.07), the T allele was present in 19% of cases and in 44% controls (p=0.017). The prevalence of the VDR Taq1 tt genotype was lower in patients as compared with controls (i.e., 10 versus 59%; p<0.01), whereas the tT and TT genotypes were disproportionally higher in patients than in cases (i.e., 62 versus 33% for tT and 29% versus 8% for TT; p<0.01). The t allele was present in 71% of cases and 92% of controls (p=0.016), whereas the T allele was present in 90% of patients with periodontal disease and in 41% controls (p<0.01). Conclusion. The results of this case control study attest that the T allele of VDR Taq1 is strongly associated with periodontal disease, whereas the t allele of the IL-1β +3953 confers a slightly protection against the risk of periodontitis.
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