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Tooth Loss, Cognitive Impairment and Fall Risk: A Cross-Sectional Study of Older Adults in Rural Thailand
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume: 19, Issue: 23, Start page: 16015
Swansea University Author: David Hughes
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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/ijerph192316015
Tooth loss is associated with both cognitive impairment and fall risk. However, the relation-ships between these variables are complex and bidirectional. Observed associations have been reported in separate studies but data on rural-dwelling older adults remain sparse. This cross-sectional study inv...
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Tooth loss is associated with both cognitive impairment and fall risk. However, the relation-ships between these variables are complex and bidirectional. Observed associations have been reported in separate studies but data on rural-dwelling older adults remain sparse. This cross-sectional study investigated socioeconomic and dental factors affecting cognitive functions, and the association between tooth loss, cognitive functioning, and fall risk. Two hundred and thirty-one rural-dwelling older adults (60-74 years old) were recruited from a single Dental Service Unit. Cognitive function and fall risk were assessed with the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Morse Fall Scale, respectively. Oral examinations were performed by a dentist using the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs form. 38.1%, had > 16 tooth loss. Socioeconomic data and health status were obtained from a questionnaire and interviews. Age, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) score, and the number of teeth lost was significantly asso-ciated with impaired cognitive function. Chi-square analysis showed that cognitive function was also associated with fall risk. Past research suggests that much cognitive impairment and fall risk is induced by tooth loss. Service planners need to be aware of the complex bidirectional re-lationships between these variables and give higher priority to dental services that can improve the general health status and social functioning of older rural adults.
tooth loss; older persons; cognitive impairment; fall risk; rural area
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Mahasarakham University Thailand