Self-reported oral health status, edentulism and all-cause mortality risk in 12 809 Australian older adults: a prospective cohort study

S. Khan, Y. Chen, L. Crocombe, E. Ivey, A. J. Owen, J. J. McNeil, R. L. Woods, R. Wolfe, R. Freak-Poli, C. Britt, D. Gasevic

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Objective: To investigate the association between oral health status and all-cause mortality in older adults using prospective cohort study design. Setting and participants: In total, 12 809 adults aged ≥70 years (54.3% females) were participants of the ASPREE Longitudinal Study of Older Persons (ALSOPs). Methods: Participants self-reported the presence of natural teeth and oral health status. The association of self-reported oral health, edentulism and the integrative measure of the two with all-cause mortality were explored using the Cox-regression models adjusted for age, gender, socio-economic status, health-related behaviours, weight status, aspirin and polypharmacy. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were reported. Results: In total, 22.2% of participants reported edentulism and 13.8% had fair/poor oral health. After adjustment for confounders, risk of all-cause mortality was higher among those with edentulism (vs. no edentulism) HR (95% CI) 1.43 (1.18, 1.73); and those with edentulism and reporting poor/fair oral health HR (95% CI) 1.69 (1.02, 2.82), or with no edentulism but reporting poor/fair oral health HR (95% CI) 1.46 (1.19–1.80) vs. no edentulism and reporting good/very good/excellent oral health. No association was observed between self-reported oral health alone and all-cause mortality. Conclusions: The risk of all-cause mortality was 69% higher among older adults reporting both edentulism and poor/fair oral health compared with those with teeth and more favourable self-reported oral health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-92
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Dental Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Cohort study
  • edentulism
  • mortality
  • oral health
  • tooth loss

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