BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined the association between periodontitis risk, gender, and marital status in older adults. The purpose of this study was to assess if the oral health status of older subjects could be explained by differences in: 1) marital status; 2) gender; and 3) ethnicity.
METHODS: Clinical and radiographic periodontal oral conditions were studied in 701 older subjects from the TEETH clinical trial. Medical conditions as well as ethnic and marital status and smoking habits were considered.
RESULTS: A total of 89 married couples were identified; 40.7% of these were of European descent and 48.1% of Chinese descent. The mean age was 67.7 years (SD +/- 4.7). The men were older than the women (mean difference: 1.5 years, SD +/- 4.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.5 to 2.5, P<0.01). No significant differences in periodontal conditions were found between spouses or by marital status. Chinese descent was associated with a higher risk for periodontitis, regardless of marital status (odds ratio: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.05 to 2.04, P<0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: 1) Married couples have similar social habits, similar oral health perceptions, and similar patterns of periodontal disease. 2) Dental studies including married couples do not bias data for married subjects as such. 3) Marital status has a limited impact on periodontal health but may have a greater impact on several systemic conditions, especially in widowed, divorced, or never married women. 4) Older Chinese subjects perceive themselves as being at lower risk for periodontitis but have more objective signs of periodontitis than older subjects of European descent.
- Odontologi (30216)