Oral health and self-rated health in community-dwelling older adults in Colombia

Luis Carlos Venegas-Sanabria, María Manuela Moreno-Echeverry, Miguel German Borda, Diego Andrés Chavarro-Carvajal, Carlos Alberto Cano-Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review


Background: The relationship between oral health and specific health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or cognitive impairment, has been extensively studied. However, the effect of oral health status on self-rated health has not been assessed. This could be relevant in older people considering that poor self-rated health status and oral diseases are highly prevalent in this population. The aim of this study was to determine the association between different parameters of oral health and self-rated health status (SRHS) in Colombian community-dwelling older adults. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the SABE-Colombia study performed in 2015. The dependent variable was defined as the SRHS status assessed by the question "Compared with other people, your age: Do you consider your health status to be better, equal, or worse?” We considered four independent variables: total edentulism considering the high prevalence in older people, the GOHAI score to assess self-rated oral health, and the use of fixed and removable dental prostheses as potential modifiers of oral health. An adjusted ordinal logistic regression was performed by each independent variable. Results: After the exclusion of missing data, 17,945 persons were included in the final analysis. A total of 10.6% reported worse SRHS, 37.6% reported equal SRHS, and 51.6% reported better SRHS. The worse SRHS group was older and had a higher proportion of dependence, cognitive impairment, and depressive symptoms. The frequency of total edentulism and the lower mean score of GOHAI were significant in the worse SHRS group. An ordinal logistic regression for each independent variable was performed, finding that edentulism increases the probability of worse SHRS, while the GOHAI and use of removable or fixed dental prostheses increase the probability of better SRHS. Conclusion: We found an association between total edentulism, GOHAI Index, the use of dental prostheses (both removable and fixed), and self-rated health status, showing the relevance of oral health status to self-rated health status independent of comorbidities and geriatric syndromes. This result supports the inclusion of oral health evaluation in comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number772
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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