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J Dent Res. 2011 Sep;90(9):1129-35. doi: 10.1177/0022034511414423. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

Oral health and cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality of Japanese.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory disease are major causes of death in developed countries. No study has simultaneously compared the contribution of oral health with these major causes of death. This study examined the association between oral health and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory mortality among older Japanese. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to participants in the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES) Project in 2003. Mortality data were analyzed for 4425 respondents. Three categories of oral health were used: 20 or more teeth, 19 or fewer teeth and eat everything, 19 or fewer teeth and eating difficulty. Sex, age, body mass index (BMI), self-rated health, present illness, exercise, smoking, alcohol, education, and income were used as covariates. During 4.28 years' follow-up, 410 people died, 159 from cancer, 108 of cardiovascular diseases, and 58 of respiratory disease. Multivariate adjusted Cox proportional hazard models showed that, compared with the respondents with 20 or more teeth, respondents with 19 or fewer teeth and with eating difficulty had a 1.83 and 1.85 times higher hazard ratio for cardiovascular disease mortality and respiratory disease mortality, respectively. There was no significant association with cancer mortality. Oral health predicted cardiovascular and respiratory disease mortality but not cancer mortality in older Japanese.

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