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Oral health and depressive symptoms: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

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Aim We assessed the cross-sectional association between depressive symptoms and oral health using a nationally representative sample of older adults aged 50 years and older living in England. Methods Data came from wave 7 (2014-2015) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the association between depressive symptoms, measured through the eight-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and three oral health outcomes, namely self-rated oral health, edentulousness and oral impacts. Results The analytical sample comprised 3,617 individuals. The proportion of participants that reported poor self-rated oral health, being edentate and having at least one oral health impact in the last six months was 19.8%, 7.7% and 8.9%, respectively. Around a tenth of the participants reported having depressive symptoms (10%). All unadjusted associations between depressive symptoms and the oral health measures were statistically significant. However, after accounting for potential confounders, only the relationship between depressive symptoms and self-rated oral health remained significant (OR = 1.38; 95% CI 1.01-1.89). Socioeconomic and general health-related variables appeared to influence the associations between depressive symptoms and oral health, particularly edentulousness and oral impacts. Conclusion Depressive symptoms were associated with poor self-rated oral health in older English adults.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Early online date11 Feb 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 11 Feb 2021

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