Association of oral health with body weight: a prospective study in community-dwelling older adults
Eva Kiesswetter, Bart JF Keijser, Dorothee Volkert, Marjolein Visser.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019 doi: 10.1038/s41430-019-0536-4.
As involuntary weight loss in older age is related to functional decline and to mortality, the knowledge about factors affecting body weight is of importance. One factor that may influence body weight in older people is the oral health status. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the longitudinal associations of different oral health characteristics with body weight in community-dwelling older adults.
We used data of 657 community-dwelling older adults aged 55-80 years from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). The first assessment of oral health and body weight took place in 2005/07 and the second in 2015/16. To describe oral health status, aspects relating to teeth, dentures, and oral problems (e.g. bleeding gums) as well as the self-rated oral health were assessed.
The proportions of people being edentulous and wearing dentures increased during follow-up and the proportions of people suffering from oral health problems remained relatively stable over time. About two thirds of the participants rated their oral health status as healthy. In our analyses, only the self-rated oral health status was associated with body weight.
In community-dwelling older adults self-rated oral health may indicate changes in body weight in the long term. Therefore, this simple measure could serve to identify a risk for weight loss and to initiate oral interventions in clinical practice.
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