Self‐rated oral health and frailty index among older Americans

Faisal F. Hakeem, Eduardo Bernabé, Wael Sabbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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 were 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) and 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
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021

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