Assessing the medical history of patients before any treatment is provided is an essential aspect of the periodontist's responsibility. A patient's compromised medical state could alter the response to periodontal treatment or worse, contribute to a crisis situation that may prove harmful to his or her well-being. This study examines the frequency of medical conditions in periodontal patients utilizing a self-administered health questionnaire succeeded by directly interviewing the patient for validity. Health histories were taken from 590 periodontal patients in an outpatient setting; 52.5% of these patients reported a positive finding in their medical history, with drug allergies and cardiovascular disorders being by far the most frequently found conditions. The frequency of medical conditions increased with increasing age. Thorough evaluation of a patient's health history is a mandatory first step in the treatment process.
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