Self-rated Oral Health and Frailty Index Among Older Americans.

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Abstract

Objective:
To assess the association between self-rated oral health and frailty index among older
American adults aged 60 years and over.
Materials and methods:
Data from the National Health and Nutrition and Examination Survey from 2011 to 2014 was
used. Self-rated oral health was assessed based on a single question “rate the health of your
teeth and gum”. A frailty index of 49-items covering multiple systems was created. Age,
gender, ethnicity, poverty-income ratio, education, poor nutritional intake and smoking were
used as covariates. Weighted negative binomial regression was used to test the association
between self-rated oral health and frailty index adjusting for the covariates.
Results:
A dose response relationship was observed between self-rated oral health and frailty index. The
Rate Ratios (RR) of frailty index were 1.03 (95% CI 0.95 – 1.13), 1.15 (95% CI 1.05 – 1.25),
1.30 (95% CI 1.17 – 1.45), 1.41(95% CI 1.28 – 1.54) for participants who rated their oral health
very good, good, fair, or poor, respectively, compared with those who rated their oral health
excellent after adjusting for covariates.
Conclusion:
Poorer self-rated oral health is associated with higher rates of frailty index. This highlights the
importance of oral health as a predictor of frailty and the adequacy of using self-rated oral
health in health surveys and clinical practices when conducting a comprehensive clinical oral
examination is not feasible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGERODONTOLOGY
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2020

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