Self-rated Masticatory Ability and Independent Life in Community Dwelling Elderly Populations
Objective: Poor chewing ability is associated with deterioration in the quality of life in older adults. Little is known about how self-rated chewing ability is related with an independent life in communitydwelling older adults. This study examined whether self-rated chewing ability was associated with independent life in communitydwelling older people.
Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed 1,377 subjects over the age of 65 who lived in Kumamoto City, Japan (mean age 79.8 years). Participants divided three groups based on their selfrated chewing ability; good, fair and poor. We assessed needs for support to the community-dwelling older adults with various questionnaires such as, basic information, residential environment, and activity of daily living, cognitive function, community activity and neighbor environment. These questionnaire items were weighted in accordance with independence in daily living.
Result: A logistic regression analysis adjusted for various confounding factors including sex, age, BMI and certification of long-term care insurance revealed a significant correlation between self-rated chewing ability and scores of basic information, activity of daily living, cognitive function, community activity and the total sum. Multiple analyses of variance demonstrated that scores of these 4 items and the total sum were significantly higher in the good chewing group than in the others.
Conclusion: Self-rated chewing ability was associated with the various factors for living supports in community-dwelling older adults, suggesting that the self-rated chewing ability might be a predictor for independence in later life.