Objective: Depression is increasingly recognized in older populations and associated with undernutrition, disability, and increased mortality. Chewing problems (CPs) share with depression these associations. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association, if any, between CPs and depression in older subjects.
Methods: We assessed 927 participants aged 65 years and older, derived from the 'InCHIANTI' study. Mood was evaluated using the CES-D scale and defined depressed by a CES-D score ≥20. CPs were self-reported. Logistic regression was performed to assess the adjusted association between depression and CPs. The adjusted model was analyzed after stratifying for use of complete, partial dentures and edentulism.
Results: Chewing problems were reported by 293/927 (31.6%) participants. Depression was present in 188/927(20.3%) participants. In multivariable logistic regression, CPs were associated with depression (OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.26-2.58; p = 0.001). No significant association was found among subjects who used complete dentures (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.80-1.58, p = 0.515). Up to 27.8% of prevalent depression might be attributed to CPs.
Conclusions: Chewing problems are associated with depression in elderly population. Use of complete dentures hinder this association. Older depressed subjects should be screened for the presence of CPs; further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of early detection and correction of CPs on the development of depression.
Keywords: chewing problems; depression; elderly; epidemiology.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.