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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Mar;59(3):519-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03311.x.

Oral health status and self-reported functional dependence in community-dwelling older adults.

Author information

1
School of Dentistry, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. yauhuayu@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the strength of association between graded groups of oral health status and self-reported functional dependence in community-dwelling older adults.

DESIGN:

Population-based cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999 to 2004.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three thousand eight hundred fifty-six participants aged 60 and older (mean age 71.2) without missing values in the examined correlates.

MEASUREMENTS:

Oral health status was evaluated according to edentulism, severity of periodontal disease, and recommendation of periodontal care and compared with that of healthy controls. Self-reported functional dependence was assessed according to 19 questions in five domains: activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), leisure and social activities (LSAs), lower extremity mobility (LEM), and general physical activities (GPAs).

RESULTS:

After controlling for demographic and dental variables, health-related behaviors, C-reactive protein, and comorbidities, edentulism was significantly associated with disability in IADLs (odds ratio (OR)=1.58), LSAs (OR=1.63), LEM (OR=1.31), and GPAs (OR=1.45) compared with healthy controls. Likewise, severe periodontitis was associated with disability in IADLs (OR=1.58), LSAs (OR=1.70), and LEM (OR=1.63). The trends toward disability in IADLs, LSAs, LEM, and GPAs were statistically significant across increasing severity of oral health problems.

CONCLUSION:

Poor oral health, specifically edentulism and severe periodontitis, is associated with multiple domains of late-life disability, but a causal relationship cannot be established based on current study design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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