Objectives: To evaluate the association, if any, between masticatory dysfunction (MD) and mortality in older adults. Design: The Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) Study, a cohort study with 9-year follow-up. Setting: Tuscany, Italy. Participants: Individuals aged 65 and older (N = 1,155). Measurements: MD was self-reported; Cox regression was used to assess the association between self-reported MD and 9-year all-cause mortality. This association was also evaluated after stratifying according to use of dentures. Analyses were adjusted for potential confounders, including demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, comorbidities, nutrient intake, medications, and objective parameters. Results: Four hundred five (35%) participants reported MD. Over the 9-year follow-up, 475 (41%) subjects died. According to Cox regression analysis, self-reported MD was associated with higher mortality (relative risk (RR) = 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.48), after adjusting for potential confounders. In participants with self-reported MD, uncorrected edentulism was the condition associated with the greatest risk of mortality (RR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.07–4.14); use of dentures seemed to blunt this association (RR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.87–1.44). Conclusion: Self-reported MD, chiefly when due to uncorrected edentulism, is associated with 9-year all-cause mortality in community-dwelling elderly adults. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether the timely correction of MD using adequate dentures can increase the survival of older adults.
- community-dwelling elderly adults
- masticatory dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology