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Volume 19 , Issue 3
May/June 2006

Pages 244249


Influence of Dental Status on Nutritional Status of Geriatric Patients in a Convalescent and Rehabilitation Hospital

John Chai, BDS, MS, MJ, DLaw, FHKAM(Dental Surgery) / Frederick C.S. Chu, BDS, MSc, PhD, MRD, FRACDS, FHKAM(Dental Surgery) / Tak W. Chow, BDS, MSc, PhD, DRD, FRACDS, FHKAM(Dental Surgery) / Nam C. Shum, MBBS, MRCP, FHKCP, FHKAM(Medicine) / Wendy W.H. Hui, BSc, MPH


PMID: 16752619

Purpose: To investigate 6 dental statuses as risk factors for malnutrition in geriatric patients admitted to a convalescent and rehabilitation hospital. Materials and Methods: One hundred twenty (59 men and 61 women) geriatric patients admitted to a convalescent and rehabilitation hospital were recruited. Three biochemical and hematologic parameters (albumin, hemoglobin, and lymphocyte count) were used for analysis. Malnutrition was defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) below 18.5 and albumin level under 35 g/L. The number of natural or prosthetic teeth in the dentate patients, and the presence of one or both dentures in the edentate patients, were recorded. Risk factors associated with malnutrition were investigated, namely: (1) edentulism among all patients, (2) edentulism without a set of complete dentures among all patients, (3) edentulism without a set of complete dentures among the edentate patients, (4) decreased number (< 6) of occluding pairs of natural or prosthetic teeth among the dentate patients, (5) decreased number (< 5) of posterior occluding pairs of natural or prosthetic teeth among the dentate patients, and (6) absence of posterior occluding pairs of natural or prosthetic teeth among the dentate patients. One-way ANOVA and Bonferroni multiple comparisons were used to determine if significant differences in the anthropometric, biochemical, and hematologic parameters existed between the patients with different dental statuses. The odds ratio and significance of 6 dental statuses as risk factors of malnutrition were calculated (P = .05). Results: BMI, albumin, and hemoglobin levels of the malnourished patients were significantly lower than those of nourished patients (P < .05). Lymphocyte count was not significantly different between the 2 patient groups (P > .05). The status of edentate patients without a set of complete dentures compared with other edentate and dentate patients was the only independent risk factor (P < .05) in the 6 statuses studied. Conclusion: Primary healthcare workers caring for hospitalized geriatric patients should identify edentate patients without a set of complete dentures for the possibility of malnutrition. Int J Prosthodont 2006;19:244249.


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