General health and oral health self-ratings, and impact of oral problems among older adults

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Abstract

Brennan DS, Singh KA. General health and oral health self-ratings, and impact of oral problems among older adults.

The aim was to assess associations of general and oral health perceptions, and the impact of general and oral health functional problems on general health perceptions. Data were collected from adults, 60–71 yr of age in 2008, and included global self-ratings of general and oral health, Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) scores, and health problem scores [using the five items from the EuroQol instrument (EQ-5D)]. Responses were collected from 444 subjects (response rate = 68.8%). Self-rated general and oral health showed fair to good agreement (kappa = 0.47). Adjusted estimates of self-rated general health showed that worse ratings were associated with lower social status [prevalence ratio (PR) = 0.42] and with more health problems (PR = 0.64). Adjusted estimates of self-rated oral health also showed that worse ratings were associated with lower social status (PR = 0.48) and with more health problems (PR = 0.63), as well as with higher OHIP scores (PR = 0.21). The interaction of health problems and OHIP scores was significant for self-rated general health, with self-rated general health being worse when both health problems and OHIP score were higher. For older adults, general health and oral health were associated, although oral health impact was only associated with general health for those with more health problems, indicating that those in worse health suffer more impact from oral health problems.

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