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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2016 Jan;48(1):58-65. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12185. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

Xerostomia Among Older Adults With Low Income: Nuisance or Warning?

Author information

1
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.
2
Professor, School of Nursing, Gachon University, Seongnam-Si, Korea.
3
Instructor, School of Nursing, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of xerostomia and related factors among low-income older adults in South Korea.

STUDY DESIGN:

A cross-sectional, population-based study.

METHODS:

Using data from the Home Healthcare Service Project, a population-based interview survey with home healthcare service, a total of 9,840 adults 65 years of age and older were assessed for the presence of xerostomia in association with aspects of health lifestyles, chronic disease, oral conditions, and oral function.

RESULTS:

Overall, 40% of participants reported experiencing xerostomia. Multivariate regression analysis indicated xerostomia was more likely to be reported by women having symptoms of gingival bleeding/pain, having difficulty swallowing liquid or chewing solid food, and having multiple chronic diseases. Interestingly, older adults who live alone and drink alcohol (two or more times per week) reported fewer problems with xerostomia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased focus on the detrimental health consequences of xerostomia would make treatment a higher priority. Improved assessment of at-risk populations, particularly among the elderly, could lead to earlier preventative interventions, lessening the negative impact on quality of life.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Health professionals along with the general public need increased knowledge about the detrimental effects of xerostomia on overall health. There is a need for earlier assessment and treatment to facilitate optimal health promotion and disease prevention.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic disease; elderly; oral conditions; oral function; xerostomia

PMID:
26649995
DOI:
10.1111/jnu.12185
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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