March 2012

Volume 29, Issue 1

Number of teeth and its association with central obesity in older Southern Brazilians

Authors: R.J. De Marchi F.N. Hugo J.B. Hilgert D.M. Padilha
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2676Marchi05


Evidence suggests that older adults with extensive tooth loss may present dietetic restrictions and frequently choose softer and more processed foods, which consequently may lead to obesity. Objective: To evaluate whether there was an association between dental status and central obesity in community-dwelling elderly. Basic research design: A simple random sample of 471 community-dwelling Brazilian elderly ranging from 60 to 89 years old was evaluated in 2006. A questionnaire on socio-demographic, behaviour, general and oral health variables was applied. The number of natural teeth and the use of dental prostheses, following the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, were assessed. Main outcome measures: The circumferences of the waist and the hip were measured in order to provide the waist circumference (WC) and the waist-hip ratio (WHR) measures. For both measures, participants were categorised as non-obese or obese according to the WHO-established cut-off points. Results: Participants with more than 8 teeth were less likely to have central obesity, as measured by WHR [OR=0.49 (0.32 to 0.87)], while participants with only 1-8 natural teeth were more likely to have central obesity when evaluated by WC [OR=3.28 (CI 1.43 to 7.52)]. Conclusions: Tooth loss was associated with central obesity, even when controlled for confounders, suggesting a relationship between oral health status and nutritional status in this sample of community-dwelling Brazilian elderly. Preserving natural teeth may have a positive impact on the nutritional status of older adults and on obesity-related morbidity. Key words: tooth loss, obesity, waist-hip ratio, waist circumference, Brazil

£10 single article

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