Oral Health Status Using the Revised Oral Assessment Guide and Mortality in Older Orthopaedic Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Annika Kragh Ekstam, Pia Andersson

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Purpose: Orthogeriatric hospitalised patients with fractures of the lower limb constitute a vulnerable population with increased risk of morbidity, polypharmacy, and mortality as well as impaired oral health. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether any relationship existed between oral health issues in older orthopaedic patients and mortality. Material and Methods: The study population consisted of older orthopedic patients emergently admitted to a hospital in southern Sweden due to mainly fractures of the hip. Their oral health at admission was assessed by trained nurses using the revised oral assessment guide (ROAG), as well as examined by dental hygienists. Medical and demographic data were collected from medical records and mortality from the national population registry. Comorbidity was assessed using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Data were analysed using foremost dichotomized data derived from mean values and then processed using multiple logistic regression adjusted for identified probable confounders. Results: Of the 187 study patients (≥65 years) with a mean age of 81 (SD 7.9) years, 71% were women, mean CCI score was 6.7 and 90-days mortality 12.3%. Oral health issues (ROAG >8, 73%) consisted mainly of problems with teeth/dentures (41%), tongue (36%), lips (35%), and saliva (28%). In patients with any oral health impairment (ROAG >8) the 90-days mortality was significantly increased (p=0.040), using logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, comorbidity, and use of ≥5 drugs. In patients with a ROAG score ≥10 (≥mean) the association remained at 90-days (p=0.029) and 180-days (p=0.013). Decayed teeth were present in 24% and was significantly associated with ROAG >8 (p=0.020). Conclusion: The main finding of this study was a possible relationship between oral health impairment at admission and early mortality in orthogeriatric hospitalised patients. The opportunity to identify their oral health problems can help improving further care planning and care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1113
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Publication statusPublished - 2023-Jun-27

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Dentistry (30216)


  • mortality
  • oral health problems
  • orthogeriatric patients
  • revised oral assessment guide


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