Oral Health and Incident Depressive Symptoms: JAGES Project Longitudinal Study in Older Japanese.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To determine whether oral health status predicts depressive symptoms in older Japanese people.

DESIGN

Longitudinal study.

SETTING

Twenty-four municipalities in Japan.

PARTICIPANTS

Community-dwelling individuals aged 65 years and older who responded to mail surveys performed by the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study in 2010 and 2013 (N = 14,279).

MEASUREMENTS

Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Multiple imputations were used to deal with missing data. After excluding participants with depressive symptoms (GDS ≥ 5) at baseline, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for incident depressive symptoms in 2013 were estimated using logistic regression models.

RESULTS

After adjusting for sex, age, educational attainment, equivalized household income, marital status, present illness, exercise, frequency of going out, and visits for dental treatment, the following ORs (95% CIs) were observed in simultaneously added oral health variables: 10-19 teeth (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.99-1.37, reference: ≥20 teeth); 1-9 teeth (1.14, 0.94-1.38, reference: ≥20 teeth); no teeth (1.28, 1.03-1.60, reference: ≥20 teeth); more difficulty chewing tough foods now than 6 months ago (1.24, 1.04-1.47); choking when drinking tea or soup (1.02, 0.84-1.23); feelings of thirst (1.17, 0.99-1.40); difficulty eating food (0.98, 0.80-1.21), difficulty speaking clearly (1.19, 0.89-1.60); problems with smiling (1.24, 0.94-1.65); problems with emotional stability (1.32, 0.86-2.04); and problems enjoying oneself around family, friends, or other people (0.86, 0.42-1.78).

CONCLUSION

These findings suggest that having no teeth and oral health problems may play a role in the development or worsening of depressive symptoms.

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