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Oral health and all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory mortality in older people in the UK and USA

Lookup NU author(s): Eftychia Kotronia, Dr Heather Brown, Dr Sheena Ramsay



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Preventing deterioration of oral health in older age can be crucial for survival. We aimed to examine associations of oral health problems with all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and respiratory mortality in older people. We used cohort data from the British Regional Health Study (BRHS) (N=2147, 71-92 years), and the Health, Aging and Body Composition (HABC) Study (USA) (N=3075, 71-80 years). Follow-up was 9 years (BRHS) and 15 years (HABC Study). Oral health comprised tooth loss, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and self-rated oral health. Cox regression was performed for all-cause mortality, competing risks for CVD mortality, and accelerated failure time models for respiratory mortality. In the BRHS, tooth loss was associated with all-cause mortality (Hazard Ratio (HR)=1.59, 95%CI 1.09, 2.31). In the HABC Study, tooth loss, dry mouth, and having ≥3 oral problems were associated with all-cause mortality; periodontal disease was associated with increased CVD mortality (Subdistribution Hazard Ratio (SHR)=1.49, 95%CI 1.01, 2.20); tooth loss, and accumulation of oral problems were associated with high respiratory mortality (tooth loss, Time Ratio (TR)=0.73, 95% CI 0.54, 0.98). Findings suggest that poor oral health is associated with mortality. Results highlight the importance of improving oral health to lengthen survival in older age.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kotronia E, Brown H, Papacosta AO, Lennon LT, Weyant RJ, Whincup PH, Wannamethee SG, Ramsay SE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2021

Volume: 11

Online publication date: 12/08/2021

Acceptance date: 02/08/2021

Date deposited: 13/08/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-95865-z


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