Poor Oral Health and Quality of Life in U.S. Older Adults with Diabetes
Huang, Deborah Lynn
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<underline>Context</underline>: Older adults with diabetes are at increased risk of periodontal disease and poor dentition, which may affect overall health, functional status and quality of life. <underline>Objective</underline>: To determine the association between health-related quality of life and oral health among U.S. older adults with diabetes mellitus. <underline>Design, Setting and Participants</underline>: Study of a nationally representative sample of 70,363 U.S. older adults (aged ≥65 years) with diabetes, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2006, 2008 and 2010. <underline>Main Outcome Measures</underline>: Health-related quality of life as measured by the Healthy Days Core Module. <underline>Results</underline>: Loss of permanent teeth from caries or periodontal disease was associated with increased odds of worse self-rated general health (adjusted OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.13-1.37). Lack of dental care in the preceding 12 months was associated with increased odds of worse self-rated general health (adjusted OR=1.34, 95% CI 1.25-1.44) compared to receiving dental care in the preceding 12 months. Poor dentition and longer time interval since last dental care were associated with increased number of physically unhealthy days. Older adults with diabetes had worse dentition and were less likely to receive recent dental care than older adults without diabetes. <underline>Conclusions</underline>: Health-related quality of life and oral health were worse in older adults with diabetes compared to older adults without diabetes.
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