Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/121995
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Type: Journal article
Title: Influence of poor oral health on physical frailty: a population-based cohort study of older British Men
Author: Ramsay, S.
Papachristou, E.
Watt, R.
Tsakos, G.
Lennon, L.
Papacosta, A.
Moynihan, P.
Sayer, A.
Whincup, P.
Wannamethee, S.
Citation: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018; 66(3):473-479
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0002-8614
1532-5415
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Sheena E. Ramsay, Efstathios Papachristou, Richard G. Watt, Georgios Tsakos, Lucy T. Lennon, A. Olia Papacosta
Abstract: Objectives: To investigate the associations between objective and subjective measures of oral health and incident physical frailty. Design: Cross‐sectional and longitudinal study with 3 years of follow‐up using data from the British Regional Heart Study. Setting: General practices in 24 British towns. Participants: Community‐dwelling men aged 71 to 92 (N = 1,622). Measurements: Objective assessments of oral health included tooth count and periodontal disease. Self‐reported oral health measures included overall self‐rated oral health; dry mouth symptoms; sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet; and perceived difficulty eating. Frailty was defined using the Fried phenotype as having 3 or more of weight loss, grip strength, exhaustion, slow walking speed, and low physical activity. Incident frailty was assessed after 3 years of follow‐up in 2014. Results: Three hundred three (19%) men were frail at baseline (aged 71–92). Having fewer than 21 teeth, complete tooth loss, fair to poor self‐rated oral health, difficulty eating, dry mouth, and more oral health problems were associated with greater likelihood of being frail. Of 1,284 men followed for 3 years, 107 (10%) became frail. The risk of incident frailty was higher in participants who were edentulous (odds ratio (OR) = 1.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03–3.52); had 3 or more dry mouth symptoms (OR = 2.03, 95% CI = 1.18–3.48); and had 1 (OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.18–4.64), 2 (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.09–4.84), or 3 or more (OR = 2.72, 95% CI = 1.11–6.64) oral health problems after adjustment for age, smoking, social class, history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, and medications related to dry mouth. Conclusion: The presence of oral health problems was associated with greater risks of being frail and developing frailty in older age. The identification and management of poor oral health in older people could be important in preventing frailty.
Keywords: frailty
longitudinal investigations
oral health
Rights: © 2017 The Authors The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The American Geriatrics Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15175
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Dentistry publications

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