Subjective chewing ability and health-related quality of life among the elderly.

Research paper by Min-Jeong MJ Cho, Eun-Kyong EK Kim

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Gerodontology


Chewing ability may reflect the overall oral health, which affects the general health of the elderly. Therefore, we assessed the association between subjective chewing ability and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among the elderly. We analysed the data of 3034 elderly people aged ≥65 years from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that was conducted by the Korean government from 2013 to 2015 (KNHANES-VI). Subjective chewing ability was evaluated using a questionnaire, and HRQOL was assessed using EuroQol 5-dimension (EQ-5D) instrument by trained examiners. Covariates, such as socio-demographic, oral health-related and general health-related variables, were investigated. Logistic regression analysis showed that chewing ability was significantly associated with HRQOL in both crude and adjusted model for covariates such as age, gender, economic activity, residence, education, smoking, alcohol, hypertension, diabetes, remaining teeth, denture, CPI, tooth brushing and oral hygiene (crude OR, 2.67; 95% CI, 2.23-3.20) (adjusted OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.95-2.86). Chewing ability was also significantly associated with most dimensions of EQ-5D, such as motor ability, self-care, daily activities, pain and discomfort, and anxiety and depression (P < 0.05). Chewing ability was significantly associated with HRQOL, suggesting that elderly people with low chewing ability are more likely to have poor health-related quality of life. © 2018 Gerodontology Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.