Association of dietary inflammation with tooth loss and cognitive decline in older adults from cross-sectional data: The moderated role of albumin

Hui Min Chen, Kar Yan Li, Tian Le Li, Yee Lan Kwong, Roy Chun-Laam Ng, Michael Francis Burrow, Colman McGrath, Hui Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Growing evidence suggests a potential connection between tooth loss and cognitive function in recent years. Increasing studies have focused on their inter-relationship, however, the underlying mechanism has yet to be fully elucidated. Few studies have considered the role of dietary inflammation and serum albumin in the association between tooth loss and cognitive function. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the role of dietary inflammation and serum albumin in the association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment.

Methods: A sample of 1,009 US adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) provided data on oral condition, cognitive function, dietary intake, and serum tests. The association between tooth loss (exposure variable) and cognitive function (outcome variable) was assessed by linear regression. Furthermore, a moderated mediation model was established to examine the influence of dietary inflammation on the association between tooth loss and cognitive tests, and the visualization of the moderating effect of serum albumin concentration was displayed through the Johnson-Neyman curve.

Results: Participants with impaired dentition had worse cognitive function and a higher Dietary Inflammation Index (DII). DII was highly correlated with Immediate Recall Test (IR), Animal Fluency Test (AFT), and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), which mediated 16.46 %, 14.41 % and 11.28 % of the effect between tooth loss and cognitive functions. Additionally, the relationship between DII and DSST was moderated by serum albumin concentration.

Conclusion: Tooth loss was associated with cognitive function which was affected by pro-inflammatory dietary patterns and serum albumin level.

Clinical significance: This study presents evidence for dentists that dietary pattern change due to tooth loss plays a role in cognitive deterioration, which can also be moderated by serum albumin level. Therefore, the preservation of natural teeth is important for cognitive function, especially in an immunocompromised population with decreased serum albumin concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Volume144
Issue number104967
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • Dietary inflammation
  • Serum albumin concentration
  • Tooth loss

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