Objective: The aim of this research was to assess the association between periodontitis and grip strength among older American adults. Methods: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 were used. Oral health status and hand grip strength were clinically assessed. Three outcome variables were used: (1) handgrip strength ≤30 kg for men, ≤20 kg for women; (2) handgrip strength ≤26 kg for men, ≤16 kg for women; and (3) mean maximum grip strength. The main exposure was the case definition of periodontitis. Logistic and linear regression models were constructed for grip strength definitions and the mean grip strength, respectively, adjusting for covariates. Results: The study included 1953 participants. The mean age was 68.5 years, and 47.2% were males. The prevalence of low grip strength (≤30 kg for men, ≤20 kg for women) was 7.4% in men and 13.6% in women. Periodontitis was significantly associated with grip strength (OR 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03, 2.27) in the unadjusted model. Periodontitis was also significantly associated with maximum grip strength (Coefficient 1.05, 95% CI -1.99, -0.09) in a model adjusted for age and gender. However, in all the fully adjusted models there was no statistically significant association between periodontitis and grip strength. Conclusion: Low grip strength appeared to be more common among persons with moderate/severe periodontitis. The observed association is probably attributed to older age and common risk factors for periodontitis and frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2020


  • Frailty
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Older adults
  • Oral health
  • Periodontal disease


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