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The Relationships of Dentition, Use of Dental Prothesis and Oral Health Problems with Frailty, Disability and Diet Quality: Results from Population-Based Studies of Older Adults from the UK and USA

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel Kimble, Professor John Mathers, Professor Sheena Ramsay



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


© 2023, The Author(s).Objectives: This study examined the relationships of dental status, use and types of dental prothesis and oral health problems, individually and combined, with diet quality, frailty and disability in two population-based studies of older adults. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and Participants: Men form the British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) (aged 85±4 years in 2018; n=1013) and Men and Women from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (HABC) Study (aged 75±3 years in 1998–99; n=1975). Measurements: Physical and dental examinations and questionnaires were collected with data available for dental status, oral problems related to eating, diet quality, Fried frailty phenotype, disability based on mobility limitations, and activities of daily living (ADL). The associations of dental status and oral health problems, individually and combined, with risk of frailty and disability were quantified. The relationship with diet quality was also assessed. Results: In the BRHS, but not HABC Study, impaired natural dentition without the use of dentures was associated with frailty independently. This relationship was only established in the same group in those with oral problems (OR=3.24; 95% CI: 1.30–8.03). In the HABC Study, functional dentition with oral health problems was associated with greater risk of frailty (OR=2.21; 95% CI: 1.18–4.15). In both studies those who wore a full or partial denture in one or more jaw who reported oral problems were more likely to have disability. There was no association with diet quality in these groups. Conclusion: Older adults with impaired dentition even who use dentures who experience self-report oral problems related to eating may be at increased risk of frailty and disability. Further research is needed to establish whether improving oral problems could potentially reduce the occurrence of frailty and disability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kimble R, Papacosta AO, Lennon LT, Whincup PH, Weyant RJ, Mathers JC, Wannamethee SG, Ramsay SE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging

Year: 2023

Volume: 27

Issue: 8

Pages: 663-672

Online publication date: 24/08/2023

Acceptance date: 16/04/2023

Date deposited: 06/10/2023

ISSN (print): 1279-7707

ISSN (electronic): 1760-4788

Publisher: Springer-Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s12603-023-1951-8


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Funder referenceFunder name
British Heart Foundation PG/13/86/30546
British Heart Foundation RG/08/013/25942
British Heart Foundation PG/13/41/30304
British Heart Foundation RG/13/16/30528
British Heart Foundation RG/19/4/34452
Dunhill Medical Trust R396_1114
Dunhill Medical Trust R592_0515
Dunhill Medical Trust R592_0717
National Institute on Aging #N01-AG-6-2101
National Institute on Aging N01- AG-6-2103
National Institute on Aging N01-AG-6-2106
Medical Research Council G1002391
National Institute on Aging R01-NR012459R01-AG028050
US NIH/NIDCR R03 DE028505-02