Background: Involuntary weight loss and underweight increase the risks of mortality and disability in older people. However, the association and interaction of poor oral health and dietary intake with body mass index (BMI) have not been elucidated.
Methods: Data were analyzed for 96 794 respondents aged >65 years who were randomly selected from 31 Japanese municipalities in the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. Weight loss was defined as ≥2–3 kg of loss over the preceding 6 months. BMI was evaluated in respondents without weight loss. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed with weight loss, underweight, and obesity as dependent variables and having fewer teeth (<20) and infrequent food intake as independent variables, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Results: Weight loss was associated with having fewer teeth (men: odds ratio [OR] 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–1.3; women: OR 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1–1.3) and infrequent fruit/vegetable intake (men: OR 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1–1.2; women: OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3–1.5) and fish/meat intake (OR 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1–1.3 for both sexes). No interaction was observed between having fewer teeth and food intake. Obesity was associated with the same factors: having fewer teeth (ORs 1.2 and 1.3 for men and women, respectively) and infrequent intake of fruit/vegetables (ORs 1.1 and 1.2 for men and women, respectively) and fish/meat (OR 1.1 for both sexes). Infrequent fruit/vegetable intake showed a higher OR for underweight in women with fewer teeth than for others.
Conclusions: Having fewer teeth and infrequent food intake were associated with both weight loss and obesity. A significant interaction was observed in the associations of having fewer teeth and infrequent food intake with underweight in women.
2016 Mieko Nakamura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.