Cognitive function and dental care utilization among community-dwelling older adults

Bei Wu, Brenda L. Plassman, Jersey Liang, Liang Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. We sought to investigate the relationship between varying levels of cognitive function and dental care utilization. Methods. Using data obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2002), we performed weighted descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses on 1984 individuals with at least 1 tooth and who were 60 years and older. Results. Multivariate analyses suggested that level of cognitive function was associated with dental care utilization. At a higher level of cognitive functioning, individuals were more likely to have had more frequent dental visits. In addition, a higher level of socioeconomic status, healthy lifestyle, and worse self-rated oral health-related symptoms were more likely to indicate a higher frequency of dental care utilization. By contrast, poorer oral health status as determined by clinical examinations was negatively associated with frequency of dental visits. Conclusions. The results suggest that community-dwelling older adults with low cognitive function are at risk for less frequent use of dental care. Oral health serves as a mediating factor between cognitive function and dental care utilization. There is a great need to improve oral health awareness and education among older adults, caregivers, and health care professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2216-2221
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume97
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 12 2007

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Independent Living
Dental Care
Cognition
Oral Health
Tooth
Nutrition Surveys
Health Education
Social Class
Caregivers
Health Status
Multivariate Analysis
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
Delivery of Health Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Cognitive function and dental care utilization among community-dwelling older adults. / Wu, Bei; Plassman, Brenda L.; Liang, Jersey; Wei, Liang.

In: American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 97, No. 12, 12.01.2007, p. 2216-2221.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wu, Bei ; Plassman, Brenda L. ; Liang, Jersey ; Wei, Liang. / Cognitive function and dental care utilization among community-dwelling older adults. In: American Journal of Public Health. 2007 ; Vol. 97, No. 12. pp. 2216-2221.
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