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ORAL HEALTH AND THE FRAIL ELDERLY

L. Rapp, S. Sourdet, B. Vellas, M.H. Lacoste-Ferré

Care Weekly 2017;1:14-20

Introduction: The relationships between oral health conditions and frailty have rarely been explored. A systematic review of frailty components and oral health concluded that differences in study population endpoint criteria and study design cannot establish a relationship between frailty and oral health. Objective: This study aims to describe the distribution of the OHAT (Oral Health Assessment Tool) score in a population of frail subjects and to assess associated parameters (age, socio-economic status, living conditions, education level, nutritional habits, cognitive functioning, autonomy). Design: Cross-sectional observational study among patients referred to the Geriatric Frailty Clinic. Measurements: 1314 patients participated in different standardized tests to evaluate their health status, cognitive and affective functioning, adaptation to usual daily activities, nutritional status, and oral health status. Results: The risk of oral health deterioration was higher with the appearance of frailty: the OHAT increased significantly with the Fried Frailty Score (p<0.001). Physical performance and oral health were correlated (p<0.001). The OHAT score and the MNA (Mini Nutritional Assessment) score were significantly correlated: oral status seemed better for malnourished subjects (p<0.001). Dementia significantly increased the risk of an unhealthy oral status (p<0.001). There was no significant correlation between oral status and depression, just a trend. Conclusion: This pilot study establishes a relationship between the OHAT and Fried Frailty Criteria in a population of frail elderly. It must be expanded to follow the distribution of the different items composing the OHAT score (items assessing lips; tongue; gums and tissues; saliva; natural teeth; dentures; oral cleanliness; and dental pain) with different parameters (age, socio-economic status, living conditions, educational level, medical history, drug treatment, nutritional habits, cognitive functioning, disabilities and handicaps).

CITATION:
L. RAPP ; S. SOURDET ; B. VELLAS ; M.-H. LACOSTE-FERRE (2017): Oral Health and the Frail Elderly. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (JPAD). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/cw.2017.5

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