Does Oral Health Predict Functional Status in Late Life? Findings From a National Sample.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


This study aims to examine the association between oral health and the decline in functional status among middle-aged and older adults in the United States.


Generalized estimation equation (GEE) Poisson regression models with robust standard errors were used to analyze the longitudinal panel data (2008-2014) from the Health and Retirement Study ( N = 1,243). Oral health was evaluated using self-rated oral health, poor mouth condition, and tooth loss. Decline in functional status was assessed by disabilities in activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).


Respondents with poor oral health were more likely to experience decline in ADLs/IADLs. Adjusting for sociodemographics and comorbidities attenuated the effects of oral health.


Findings suggest that oral health might be one of the important predictors of functioning decline in late life, after adjusting sociodemographics and comorbidities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, W; Wu, YY; Wu, B

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 924 - 944

PubMed ID

  • 28553812

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6457448

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6887

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0898-2643

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0898264317698552


  • eng