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Influence of Poor Oral Health on Physical Frailty: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Older British Men

Ramsay, SE; Papachristou, E; Watt, RG; Tsakos, G; Lennon, LT; Papacosta, AO; Moynihan, P; ... Wannamethee, SG; + view all (2017) Influence of Poor Oral Health on Physical Frailty: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Older British Men. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 10.1111/jgs.15175. (In press). Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Influence of Poor Oral Health on Physical Frailty: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Older British Men
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15175
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15175
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: frailty, longitudinal investigations, oral health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041326
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