Oral health determinants of incident malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Kiesswetter E, Hengeveld LM, Keijser BJ, Volkert D, Visser M
Journal: Journal of Dentistry
Publication year: 2019
ISSN: 0300-5712


Objective: Poor oral health might be a modifiable determinant of malnutrition in older age. We aimed to investigate the associations of multiple oral health characteristics with incident malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults. Methods: This exploratory analysis is based on prospective data from 893 participants, aged 55–80 years without malnutrition in 2005/06 from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. In 2007, 19 oral health characteristics from the domains teeth/dentures, oral hygiene, oral problems, and self-rated oral health were assessed by questionnaire. Incident malnutrition was defined as presence of low body mass index (<20 kg/m² in people <70 years, <22 kg/m² ≥70 years) and/or self-reported involuntary weight loss ≥5% in previous 6 months at any of the follow-ups (2008/09, 2012/13, 2015/16). Associations of oral aspects with incident malnutrition were analyzed by cox proportional hazard models and adjusted for confounders. Results: The 9-year incidence of malnutrition was 13.5%. Sixteen of 19 oral health aspects were not associated with incident malnutrition in the crude models. Adjusted hazard ratios for incident malnutrition were 2.14 (1.10–4.19, p = 0.026) for toothache while chewing, 2.10 (0.88–4.98, p = 0.094) for an unhealthy oral health status, and 1.99 (0.93–4.28, p = 0.077) for xerostomia in edentulous participants, however, the two latter ones failing to reach statistical significance. Conclusions: We identified toothache while chewing as determinant of incident malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults, and found indications that poor oral health and xerostomia in combination with having no teeth may play a role in developing malnutrition. However, these outlined tendencies need to be proven in further studies. Clinical Significance: Regarding the development of strategies to prevent malnutrition in older people toothache while chewing, xerostomia, and self-rated oral health would be of specific interest as these factors are modifiable and can be easily assessed by self-reports.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Volkert, Dorothee Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Professur für Klinische Ernährung im Alter

External institutions with authors

Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research / Nederlandse Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek (TNO)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) / University Amsterdam

How to cite

Kiesswetter, E., Hengeveld, L.M., Keijser, B.J., Volkert, D., & Visser, M. (2019). Oral health determinants of incident malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Dentistry. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2019.05.017

Kiesswetter, Eva, et al. "Oral health determinants of incident malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults." Journal of Dentistry (2019).


Last updated on 2019-30-05 at 03:08