Does mandibular bone structure predict subsequent height loss? A longitudinal cohort study of women in Gothenburg, Sweden

Nivetha Natarajan Gavriilidou, Grethe Jonasson, Valter Sundh, Elisabet Rothenberg, Lauren Lissner

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

12 Nedladdningar (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Several risk factors for loss of height with increasing age have been identified.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate if mandibular bone structure predicts future height loss in middle-aged and elderly Swedish women.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study with longitudinally measured heights, radiographical assessments of the cortical bone using Klemetti's Index (normal, moderate or severely eroded cortex) and classification of the trabecular bone using an index proposed by Lindh et al (sparse, mixed or dense trabeculation). No intervention was performed.

SETTING: Gothenburg, Sweden.

PARTICIPANTS: A population-based sample of 937 Swedish women born in 1914, 1922 and 1930 was recruited. At the baseline examination, the ages were 38, 46 and 54 years. All had undergone a dental examination with panoramic radiographs of the mandible, and a general examination including height measurements on at least two occasions.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Height loss was calculated over three periods 12-13 years (1968-1980, 1980-1992, 1992-2005).

MAIN RESULTS: Mean annual height loss measures were 0.075 cm/year, 0.08 cm/year and 0.18 cm/year over the three observation intervals, corresponding to absolute decreases of 0.9 cm, 1.0 cm and 2.4 cm. Cortical erosion in 1968, 1980 and 1992 significantly predicted height loss 12 years later. Sparse trabeculation in 1968, 1980 and 1992 also predicted significant shrinkage over 12 or 13 years. Multivariable regression analyses adjusting for baseline covariates such as height, birth year, physical activity, smoking, body mass index and education yielded consistent findings except for cortical erosion 1968-1980.

CONCLUSION: Mandibular bone structure characteristics such as severe cortical erosion and sparse trabeculation may serve as early risk factors for height loss. Since most individuals visit their dentist at least every 2 years and radiographs are taken, a collaboration between dentists and physicians may open opportunities for predicting future risk of height loss.

Sidor (från-till)e066844
TidskriftBMJ Open
StatusPublicerad - 2023-juli-04

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi (30302)


  • Nutrition
  • Older adults
  • Dental radiography
  • Body Height
  • Women
  • Cortical bone


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