The interrelationship between functional dentition, nutrient intake and nutritional status among Thai older adults

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Aim: To explore the interrelationship between functional dentition, food and nutrient intake, and nutritional status among older adults in Thailand.
Methods: This was a 12-month longitudinal study of community dwellers, aged 60 years and over, in Phetchaburiprovince (central Thailand). Baseline data were collected through interviews, anthropometric measurements and dental examinations. Dietary intake was assessed with the 154-food-item Thai semi-structured Food Frequency Questionnaire (Thai Elderly-FFQ), from which nutrient intake was estimated via the INMUCAL-Nutrients V4.0 software. Anthropometric measurements included were body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF). Dentists examined the number and condition of teeth (dental caries and severe mobility), functional tooth units and quality of dentures. The follow-up survey collected information on dietary intake and anthropometric measurements only. All associations were tested in linear regression models adjusted for confounders.
Results: Seven-hundred-eighty-eight older adults participated in the baseline examination (response rate: 97%), of which 651 were successfully followed-up (retention rate: 83%). Functional dentition was not associated with changes in nutrient intake, but it was associated with reductions in intake of meat, beans (legumes and nuts), sweet snacks and salted snacks as well as with increases in intake of bamboo shoots and soymilk. Although participants with functional dentition had smaller increases in BMI and smaller reductions in WC and TSF over 12 months than those without functional dentition, these differences were not statistically significant. In addition, changes in nutrient and food intake explained very little of these associations.

Conclusion: The findings of this longitudinal study among Thai older adults suggests that older adults with functional dentition might have more stable body measurements over time than those without functional dentition. However, there was no evidence for a mediating role of nutrient and food intake in the association between functional dentition and changes in nutritional status.
Date of Award1 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorEduardo Bernabe (Supervisor) & Wael Sabbah (Supervisor)

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