Association between oral health and general health indicators in older adults

Trung Dung Tran*, Stefanie Krausch-Hofmann, Joke Duyck, Johanna de Almeida Mello, Jan De Lepeleire, Dominique Declerck, Anja Declercq, Emmanuel Lesaffre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Oral health (OH) and general health (GH) indicators are representations of the health status of the body. The OH indicators provide information about the oral health status while the GH indicators are used to assess the functional, cognitive, and mental conditions. OH is reported to be associated with GH. However, some specific associations, especially longitudinal relationships between OH and GH indicators, have not been fully explored. We examined the prediction ability from OH to GH and vice versa using a Belgian registry. We collected information from 8359 elderly participants, who were older than 65, lived at home, and received home care. The demographic and clinical information including three binary OH indicators and four ordinal GH indicators were collected. The participants were recorded at baseline and every six months afterwards. We opted for a generalization of a vector autoregressive model to ordinal responses. This model allows to estimate autocorrelations and cross-lagged correlations, addressing the prediction of GH from OH in a cross-sectional and longitudinal manner. We showed that individuals who had poorer OH had a higher risk of suffering from poor GH status. The percentages of correct or close prediction for GH indicators from OH indicators are high, being around 80% for all GH indicators. Additionally, having a poor OH (resp. GH) status was additionally predictive of a poor GH (resp. OH) status at following assessments. Our finding suggests using historical records of OH as well as GH indicators to draw better health care plan for geriatrics population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8871
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Mortality
  • Dryness
  • Ability
  • Impact
  • Scale
  • Links
  • Life


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