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J Public Health Dent. 2009 Fall;69(4):260-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2009.00132.x.

Complete edentulism prior to the age of 65 years is associated with all-cause mortality.

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1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE (MS K67), Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. dbrown6@cdc.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examine the relationship between complete edentulism prior to the age of 65 years and all-cause mortality after adjustment for socioeconomic characteristics.

METHODS:

Using data from 41,000 adult participants in the 1986 National Health interview Survey with mortality follow-up data on each cohort member through December 31, 2002 (16 years follow-up), we estimated the relative odds of all-cause mortality among adults (age > or =18 years) with complete edentulism prior to the age of 65 years compared with that among those without the condition. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analyses were repeated for complete edentulism at any age.

RESULTS:

The age-standardized prevalence of complete edentulism was 12.3 percent [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 12.0-12.6]. Among persons aged <65 years, the risk of death from all causes was 19 percent for persons with complete edentulism compared to 10 percent for persons without. Compared with those without complete tooth loss, the risk of death from all causes was 1.5 (95 percent CI, 1.3-1.7) (P < 0.001) times greater for persons with complete edentulism prior to the age of 65 years after multivariable adjustment. Similar results were observed for complete edentulism among persons aged > or =65 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Complete edentulism prior to the age of 65 years was associated with all-cause mortality after multivariable adjustment for several socioeconomic characteristics. These results provide further evidence supporting the notion that poor oral health as evidenced by complete edentulism is an important public health issue across the lifespan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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