Oral Health and Frailty in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the Northern Netherlands: a Cross-Sectional Study

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the association between oral health and frailty in community-dwelling Dutch adults aged 55 years and older. Included were 170 participants ( n = 95 female [56%]; median age 64 years [IQR: 59-69 years]). Frailty was assessed by the Groningen Frailty Indicator. Oral health was assessed by the Oral Health Impact Profile-14-NL (OHIP-NL14). OHIP-NL14 item scores were analyzed for differences between frail and non-frail participants. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association between oral health and presence of frailty. The multivariate analysis included age, gender, and depressive symptoms as co-variables. After adjustment, 1 point increase on the OHIP-NL14 scale was associated with 21% higher odds of being frail ( p = 0.000). In addition, significantly more frail participants reported presence of problems on each OHIP-NL14 item, compared to non-frail participants ( p < 0.003). Contrast in prevalence of different oral health problems between frail and non-frail was most prominent in 'younger' older adults aged 55-64 years. In conclusion: decreased oral health was associated with frailty in older adults aged ≥55 years. Since oral health problems are not included in most frailty assessments, tackling oral health problems may not be sufficiently emphasized in frailty policies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal for environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • aged
  • cross-sectional studies
  • female
  • frail elderly
  • frailty/epidemiology
  • geriatric assessment
  • humans
  • independent living
  • middle aged
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • oral Health

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