Exploring the role of peer density in the self-reported oral health outcomes of older adults: A kernel density based approach

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Previous research has documented that oral health is inextricably linked with overall health and is an important component of successful aging. Additionally, peer social interactions are known to improve older adults' general well-being by increasing social opportunities and knowledge of local resources. This study examines the relationship between peer density of participants aged 50 and older in the ElderSmile program and self-reported oral health in northern Manhattan. Results from logistic regression models found that higher peer kernel density estimation values are associated with better self-reported oral health. This reinforces the need for place-based health interventions, and provides new evidence of the importance of peer communities for older adults.

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