Objectives: We explored the interrelationships among diabetes, hypertension, and missing teeth among underserved racial/ethnic minority elders.
Methods: Self-reported sociodemographic characteristics and information about health and health care were provided by community-dwelling ElderSmile participants, aged 50 years and older, who took part in community-based oral health education and completed a screening questionnaire at senior centers in Manhattan, New York, from 2010 to 2012.
Results: Multivariable models (both binary and ordinal logistic regression) were consistent, in that both older age and Medicaid coverage were important covariates when self-reported diabetes and self-reported hypertension were included, along with an interaction term between self-reported diabetes and self-reported hypertension.
Conclusions: An oral public health approach conceptualized as the intersection of 3 domains-dentistry, medicine, and public health-might prove useful in place-based assessment and delivery of services to underserved older adults. Further, an ordinal logit model that considers levels of missing teeth might allow for more informative and interpretable results than a binary logit model.